Clickatell raises $91M
The global chat commerce’s total addressable market is worth an estimated $80 billion and is seen as the third big wave of digital commerce after e-commerce and app commerce markets.
As the largest digital platform in the world, with more users than the internet’s 4.7 billion users, it only makes sense for businesses to communicate and transact with consumers through chat channels.
Founded in 2000, Clickatell is a pioneer in this mobile communications and chat commerce space. The company helps businesses communicate with their customers via mobile messaging platforms, and today is announcing that it has raised $91 million in a new financing round.
The Series C funding, which is coming a decade after the Sequoia-backed company raised its last round, was led by Arrowroot Capital, with Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, Endeavor Global and Harvest participating.
Founded in South Africa, Clickatell is headquartered in California, with offices in Nigeria and Canada. Pieter de Villiers, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, told TechCrunch he started the company for the internet, the fastest-growing commerce platform to communicate with the mobile phone, the fast-growing communications platform.
Thus, Clickatell became the go-to API interface that allowed companies to send messages to their customers, thereby powering considerable gains in customer engagement via SMS.
In 2011, Clickatell got a capital infusion from Sequoia Capital and other investors for its $12 million Series B round to move beyond customer engagement and add payments into one of its numerous offerings.
In a chat commerce space where the likes of Twilio, Zendesk and Stripe power activities in communication platform as a service (CPaaS), contact center as a service (CCaaS) and e-commerce payments, respectively, Clickatell plays in the intersection of the three and helps businesses deploy payments in chat channels.
On its platform, consumers can connect with brands via SMS and USSD (in Nigeria) and WhatsApp (in South Africa) to find goods and services, make purchases, track orders and resolve issues with a text or chat.
The company claims to have developed one of the world’s first chat banking solutions on WhatsApp via its chat commerce integration with ABSA Bank, one of South Africa’s largest banks.
Clickatell raises $91M