The global pandemic has accelerated e-commerce sales beyond expectations. For text message marketing startup, Attentive, this has also caused unexpected growth. Since the start of the year, the New York-based startup has more than doubled its staff, adding 350 employees to its previous 150-person workforce.
It now works with 2,000 customers, up from 1,000 just five months ago, including Sephora, Tapestry (Coach, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman), Urban Outfitters, Michaels, Steve Madden, and fast-food chain Jack in the Box.
Attentive was launched in 2016 by the team behind the mobile app retargeting leader, TapCommerce. The company’s offerings allow online retailers to send text messages to website visitors at opportune moments to encourage them to make purchases. On average, Attentive has been responsible for driving 18.5% of its customers’ total online revenue, focusing on increasing sales on mobile devices.
Earlier this year, a survey by Yotpo showed that 51% of consumers said they would welcome receiving texts from their favorite brands, and 54% said they would like to receive coupons and promotional offers via text. Notably, people said they placed text messaging as a close second to email as a preferred channel.
Now, the SaaS company has announced a Series C funding round of $230 million, led by existing investor Coatue. Participating in the round were new investors, including Tiger Global, Wellington Management Company, D1 Capital Partners, Atomico, and Sozo Ventures.
They joined existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Sequoia, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, IVP, Eniac Ventures, NextView Ventures, High Alpha, and Sapphire Ventures.
This new injection of funds brings the company’s valuation to $2.2 billion. The unicorn has now raised a total of $394 million, most of which was raised this year. In January and April, it raised a total of $110 million in a Series C round.
"Mobile and e-commerce growth have been accelerated over a matter of months this year, creating a lasting impact on consumer behavior,” said Attentive CEO Brian Long. The company plans to use the funding to accelerate its product innovation and invest in hiring top talent.