Co-headquartered in San Mateo, California, and Seoul, South Korea, Sendbird is a startup company that provides various interactive services like messaging, video, and calling through software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs). The business has the mission to “build connections in a digital world.”
The startup company was founded in 2013 to offer interactive services that are used by many startup companies and more established businesses like Virgin Mobile, Reddit, Delivery Hero, Paytm, Hinge, Headspace, and others. As a result of the services provided, the business claims that there has been a 33% decrease in customer support calls for on-demand food delivery apps and a 75% reduction in booking cancellations for global rideshare apps.
Crunchbase data indicates the startup company has raised about $220.7 million in total funding from a series of funding rounds and investments from Tiger Global, August Capital, Shasta Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, and Y Combinator.
$100 Million for Sendbird
Today, the business raised $100 million in a new financing round, giving the startup company a valuation of $1.05 billion and unicorn status. This round of financing was led by new investors, Steadfast Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and features participation from previous investors. The business previously raised $102 million in a Series B roughly two years ago and was valued at $550 million at the time.
This funding comes after Sendbird saw exponential growth over the last year. The business now has gained 150 million users through its APIs for chatting and video calling as many people have been spending an increased amount of time in front of phone and computer screens.
In an interview with VentureBeat, co-founder and CEO of the business, John S. Kim, said, “Even before Covid, there has been a shift to more and more of the tasks we accomplish in our lives occurring within mobile apps — online purchases, entertainment, food delivery, and lots of others...Brands are increasingly choosing in-app chat over SMS as the way of connecting with users and connecting users with each other within the mobile and sometimes Web experience. These interactions facilitate purchases, provide support, and build loyalty. This is what’s been driving Sendbird’s growth for the last five years and continues to do so as the shift from offline to online continues.”
With this new financing, the startup company plans to expand the functionalities of the platform to meet the ever-changing interactive online landscape.
Sendbird is just one business that has found success in the API market. Other companies that use API technology have made some recent strategic moves as well.
MessageBird, a cloud communications platform, recently acquired Pusher, a bi-directional API host. In addition, Idera, a company that delivers B2B software productivity tools, acquired Apilayer, a startup that provides cloud-based APIs to big tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Twilio, PubNub, Sinch, Stream, and Firebase are also other competitors to Sendbird in the API market.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.