Attentive Valued at $2.2 Billion — What’s Next for the SMS Marketing Industry’s Breakout Startup?

By Thomas Price Saturday, September 26, 2020

The pandemic has led to more consumers staying at home for longer periods of time than ever before; ecommerce has skyrocketed in order to meet the demand for all kinds of products that would have otherwise been bought in person. In response to this new trend in shopping, marketing has responded in kind with more personalized and accessible ways to reach its buyers. One of those has been text message marketing, which has been led mainly by the leader of the industry, Attentive. Attentive has built a substantial and impressive list of companies that use their services and, at the same time, raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. So, how exactly does Attentive work, and what can be expected from the company in the future?

Attentive’s Services

Attentive was founded in 2016 by CEO Brian Long, current Chief Product Officer Andrew Jones, and current Head of Special Projects Ethan Lo. The basic premise of the work done at Attentive is to create personalized text messages sent directly to the consumer that alerts them of products, deals, and general brand initiatives. These texts usually come with a photo and a link to the deal or product as well. These text messages have been extremely successful for individual brands that use their services as well as on the whole. In fact, as a collective, companies that have used Attentive have seen rises in engagement due to how the service works. Attentive boasts a 99% opened message rate, an above 30% click-through rate, and a return on investment more than 25 times over what was put in.

For companies that partnered with the service such as Jack in the Box and Cynthia Rowley, the specific numbers are even better. Jack in the Box has seen a 116.9% year-over-year subscriber growth for the text messages and 3-6 times higher performance with their text messages through Attentive than their promotional emails. Attentive curated the content sent by location, time, and message based on Jack in the Box consumer demographics. As for Cynthia Rowley, the fashion brand has seen a 268% growth in subscribers over six months as well a return 33 times larger than their investment. With such an incredible client return on investment, Attentive has caught the eye of many different investors themselves, who are very bullish on its future.

Attentive in the Future

Attentive has seen some incredible optimism from investors, given their current revenues, positive client feedback, and the overall power of text message marketing. As of 2020, Attentive is currently estimated to be making $78.5 million in annual revenue, which is markedly better than its competitors in a similar field. This growth can be seen in Attentive’s workforce as well, which has exploded from 150 at the beginning of the year to 400 employees as of right now.

Attentive has also doubled its client base from around 1,000 companies to now 2,000 different clients. The massive growth has, in turn, attracted a significant group of investors who clearly believe in the product. In fact, this has translated to a whopping $230 million in Attentive”s Series D funding round. Over the course of their entire funding period so far, Attentive has raised $394 million. The incredible funding, along with an increased client base, has led to the company being valued at an impressive $2.2 billion. In combination with the 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the US text message marketing industry over the next five years, Attentive seems set to explode sooner rather than later.

Final Conclusions

Attentive has all the tools to break out as a massive player in the marketing industry. The company is well funded, produces high-quality results, and is advancing tremendously in an already growing market. Combining all of this with an impressively high $2.2 billion valuation and the success already seen so far, it feels almost redundant to suggest that Attentive will be a major company in text message marketing over the next few years because, as it stands, it already is.

About the Author


Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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