MessageBird, an Amsterdam based startup in the cloud based communications service domain, has just raised a total of sixty million USD in a new series A funding round. This new round of funding was led by Accel Partners in the United States and by Atomico (a VC started by Skype’s Niklas Zennström) in Europe.
This new financing round of MessageBird is being touted as the largest Series A funding to have come out of Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator accelerator. A very quintessential difference between a majority of the European and American startups is the fact that, most of the European startups are profit making. MessageBird is one of them.
The startup, apart from raising its funds from VCs, has been a bootstrapped venture since day one and is on course to rake up one hundred million USD in revenue in the current year. MessageBird being profitable already, begs one to question the need for this new round of funding.
On a call with a journalist, Robert Vis, founder and CEO MessageBird stated that even though the company was profitable from day one, it was facing an extremely high demand in in-bound enquiries and its small forty member team was not able to cater to it without compromising on quality. Thus, the need to expand and increase the team size to equip the firm to continue delivering high quality solutions an immediate cash injection was very much required.
Robert states that this new funding is more about deriving better synergies than the monetary component. As per Robert, the firm just did not want a cash injection but also wanted a partner who would bring to the table skills and expertise that MessageBird lacked.
Accel and Atomico in that respect perfectly matched MessageBird’s requirement of expertise in the telecom sector. What Robert essentially thinks is that it is really important to find partners who are a really good fit and that are going to fit with the firm’s culture.
What can be credited with MessageBird’s rapid success is that from the beginning the firm had targeted large enterprise customers and had managed to build more direct relationships and connections with carriers such that it can now compete on price, reliability and security.
MessageBird’s primary product is pretty similar to most of the other cloud based communications providers, with its offering of different voice, video and text capabilities all wrapped up in an API. The factor that differentiates MessageBird from most of its other competitors is that it owns most of its telecom infrastructure.
Also the integration of its services with over two hundred and twenty telecom carriers globally means that MessageBird requires lesser number of hops which otherwise introduce delays in the relaying of messages. These direct integrations also result in MessageBird having to deal with fewer third parties resulting in reduced costs.
There have been undisclosed reports that publically exchange traded Twilio too uses MessageBird’s infrastructure and connections to conduct its business. MessageBird currently boasts of fifteen hundred customers globally with the list populated by marquee names such as SAP, Uber, ING, DoorDash, Huawei, Heniken etc..