Part of an end-of-year rush of funding, SendBird, the global leading company of chat API and messaging SDK for in-app chat and messaging, raised $16 million in a Series A round lead by Shasta Ventures and August Capital, both accompanied by existing investors like Y Combinator and FundersClub.
“It’s our mission to digitize human interactions for businesses. With the new round of financing, we can accelerate our plan to help companies rapidly increase the engagement and retention of their users by enabling real-time conversation with our chat API,” said John S. Kim, CEO and Co-Founder of SendBird, in a press release the same day they completed the fund round.
Launched in 2015, in South Korea, SendBird now powers chats for over 6,500 applications in 153 countries around the globe. The company’s product can support up to 1 million concurrent users per chat application, making it the most scalable solution for global clients.
With the new funds, SendBird also gains two new members to the board in Shasta’s managing director, Doug Pepper, and in August Capital’s partner, Villi Iltchev. “With Shasta’s partnership, SendBird will be able to double-down on its product’s strength and continue to attract top engineering talent to do it,” commented Mr. Pepper. “SendBird enables world-class enterprises to build rich and engaging messaging experiences that scale to millions of users across a wide range of use-cases,” said Mr. Iltchev.
The SendBird funding came in the same rush of investment that saw 14 companies and startups raise $400 million in December, with Redwood City’s Carbon Inc. leading the pack with a $143 million round lead by Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Co., and Archina Capital, Adidas and General Electric Co.
Based now in Redwood City, California, SendBird still operates a research and development office in South Korea but graduated from Y Combinator in the winter of 2016 class, gaining a seed funding of $2.6 million from Twitch cofounder, Justin Kan, and other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that foresaw the possibilities built in the approach to messaging apps based on Internet Protocol, APIs, and SDKs that the Korean founders fostered. Now, with its first serious raise in financing, the company will accelerate its plan to grow its client base globally.