US-based Sendbird, a messaging-as-a-service API that provides chat, voice, and video messaging for mobile apps and websites, raised US$ 100M in a Series C funding round on 6 April 2021.
Investors: The funding round was led by Steadfast Financial, with participation from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and existing investors ICONIQ Capital, Tiger Global Management and Meritech Capital. The startup is valued at US$ 1.05 billion. It has raised US$ 220.7M to date.
Purpose of the funding: The company will utilize the funds to continue expanding the functionalities of its platform to meet the changing interactive times.
Founded in 2013 by Brandon Y Jeon, Forest Lee, Harry Kim and John S. Kim, Sendbird is a provider of chat, video and other interactive services to the likes of Reddit, Hinge, Paytm, Delivery Hero and many others by way of a few lines of code. Its mission is to build connections in a digital world that are less transactional and superficial. SendBird provides solutions for almost every industry including Digital Health, Social, Gaming, On-demand services etc.
Features of the product –
1. Sendbird Chat: An easy-to-use Chat API, native Chat SDKs and a fully managed chat platform. Modern chat and messaging experiences can be built with delivery receipts, offline messaging, presence, translation, moderation tools and analytics.
2. Sendbird Calls: Makes connecting users with voice API and video API easier. Seamlessly switch between chat, voice and video.
3. Sendbird Desk: Provides Power live chat support with your app’s messaging experience.
Sendbird claims that its customers channel more than 150 million users through its APIs to chat with each other and large groups of users over text and video. Some of its competitors include – Twilio, MessageBird, PubNub, Sinch, Stream and Firebase among others.
What the investors have to say: “The channel that Sendbird is leveraging is the next channel we have come to expect from all brands. Sendbird may look the same as others but if you peel the onion, providing a scalable chat experience that is highly customized is a real problem to solve. Large customers think this is critical but not a core competence and then zoom back to Sendbird because they can’t do it. Sendbird is a clear leader. Sendbird is permeating many verticals and types of companies now. This is one of those rare companies that has been at the right place at the right time.” — Karan Mehandru, a partner at Steadfast. He will be joining the board of directors at Sendbird.
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