SendBird raises additional $50 million Series B to ramp up global demand for in-app messaging; now surpasses 1 billion messages per month
SendBird, a chat and messaging API service for building in-app messaging, has raised an additional $50 million, bringing its total Series B funding round to $102 million. The company extended the round in order to meet the rapidly growing global demand for in-app user-to-user messaging. The additional round was led by Tiger Global Management, with significant participation from the initial Series B lead, ICONIQ Capital. In conjunction with the additional $50 million in Series B funding, SendBird has opened offices in Singapore, London, and Bengaluru.
Founded in 2013 by Brandon Y Jeon, Forest Lee, Harry Kim, and John Kim, The San Mateo, California-based SendBird is a fully customizable chat and messaging platform with a managed infrastructure for mobile and web applications. Its platform is used by global companies including NBA, Yahoo! Sports, GO-JEK, Virgin Mobile UAE, among others. SendBird provides the necessary Software Development Kits (SDK) and API, front- and back-end technology so that businesses can launch a customized in-app messaging experience quickly, efficiently, and at scale.
The company has rapidly established itself as the world’s leading in-app messaging platform and API. In 2018, SendBird tripled the number of messages sent through its platform, now surpassing 1 billion messages per month, and grew beyond 50 million monthly active users. It also increased its full-time employees (FTEs) from 70 to 98 since January of 2019, after growing 180% in 2018.
“SendBird has emerged as the category leader, recognizing the immense demand from businesses for a chat and messaging solution and meeting these needs with a customer-focused product and API. As a result, the momentum has been strong,” said Matthew Jacobson, General Partner at ICONIQ Capital. “By championing software engineering teams, extending their ability to build, scale and maintain complex chat and messaging infrastructures, SendBird continues to serve and delight customers. The company’s enthusiastic reaction in Europe and Asia demonstrates a large global opportunity we will continue to invest against.”
Currently, 76% of the world population uses messenger apps. Yet to date, widespread global adoption of user-to-user messaging in business applications has been hindered by key factors. First, the messaging market has been consolidated among only a handful of messenger apps. Second, in-app user-to-user messaging is difficult for engineering teams to build and maintain.
With SendBird’s product and expertise in messaging technology, businesses can now incorporate this globally adopted messaging channel into their apps easily without the large dedicated engineering teams it once required. SendBird gives businesses everything they need to add user-to-user messaging to their app, while it continuously innovates the messaging experience so users remain captivated and businesses can drive key goals forward.
“Our primary goal for the next 2 years is to really build our market presence as the leader of the industry. Starting from marketing and sales, we are building the go-to-market engine to scale our global presence by hiring leaders in key areas of the business and building teams around those leaders,” said CEO John S. Kim. “The second important reason is to build and master global operations. We’ve already hired in UK, Singapore, and India. And we continue to hire rapidly in our two main locations, US and Korea. Since our customers are global, we aim to build global operations as our core competency. The portfolios of our new investors have built a strong muscle for building global software companies, so we’re excited to learn from their experience through this partnership.”