Retail messaging startup Attentive has announced it’s raised a $40 million Series B investment led by Sequoia.
Existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Eniac Ventures and NextView Ventures, and new investors IVP and High Alpha also participated in the round. The funding will be used to continue to scale operations and boost product innovation.
Founded by Brian Long and Andrew Jones, Attentives's first product enabled “two-tap” sign-up so that users can tap on a promotion link from a brand’s website that opts them in for SMS messages from that retailer. It followed that up with a suite of messaging tools, with support for cart abandonment reminders, A/B testing, subscriber segmentation and more.
“CRM is changing,” Long said. “Businesses can’t build a relationship with the modern consumer through email alone. Email performance, as measured by how many subscribers click-through on a message, is down 45 percent over the last five years. Rather than continuing to shout one-way messages at consumers, smart brands will stay relevant by embracing personalized, real-time, two-way communication channels.”
The startup told TechCrunch that mobile messages sent through its platform are seeing click-through rates of more than 30 percent, and that it now works with more than 400 customers, including Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Coach, CB2 and Jack in the Box.
“As people increasingly use messaging as a primary form of communication, businesses will too,” said Pat Grady, partner at Sequoia, in a press release. “With their mobile messaging platform, Attentive is leading a new category of direct-to-consumer marketing that we believe has huge market potential. We’re thrilled to partner with the entire team as they grow and provide brands with modern, effective tools to better engage with customers.”
“As former investors in CEO Brian Long’s last business, TapCommerce, and the lead investors in Attentive’s earlier Series A round—we’re incredibly excited to have the opportunity to continue to support this team as they pioneer a new chapter in mobile marketing,” added Scott Friend, partner at Bain Capital Ventures.