MessageBird’s $200 Million Fundraise Likely Last Before an IPO

(Bloomberg) - MessageBird announced that it has raised $ 200 million in new funding valued at $ 3 billion for what is expected to be the last cash injection before an IPO next year.
Some of the funds will be used for acquisitions, and MessageBird continues to expect it to be "IPO-ready" in the first half of 2021, CEO Robert Vis said in an interview this week.
"We anticipate there will be significant consolidation going forward. Part of the increase is to enable us to conduct mergers and acquisitions," said Vis, who founded MessageBird in 2011, Very Large. "
The founder also said he had been approached by "every single SPAC vendor in the world" but the company had not made a decision whether to stick to a traditional IPO. Investments were made in special purpose vehicles that year, with several companies including ChargePoint Inc. and Hims Inc. announcing deals in the publicly traded takeover vehicles.
With MessageBird, businesses can add a few lines of code to their app or website so customers can text, email, or call with questions. Sales are expected to increase by 50% this year to around 300 million euros (353 million US dollars). This is partly due to demand from e-commerce customers moving sales and support online, and the company is "around the profitability line," Vis said.
The Amsterdam-based company's IPO would follow U.S. rival Twilio Inc., which is now valued at roughly $ 44.4 billion four years after being listed at $ 1.23 billion. Twilio's share price roughly tripled during the Covid-19 crisis as companies that rely on online services like WhatsApp and Zoom increase demand for their products to resolve consumer complaints as stores stand empty .
Read more: Twilio's Dutch rival MessageBird plans to go public in "Gold Rush"
Vis said the business impact of the pandemic had to do not only with tax details or staffing, but also with a fundamental change in his mind about remote working and fundraising via videoconferencing.
"I raised this $ 200 million from investors I had never met before from Zoom and Google Hangouts," said Vis. "I'm excited to see how it will look when it goes public."
The round was led by Spark Capital of San Francisco with the participation of existing investors such as Atomico, Accel and Y-Combinator. MessageBird said that Spark's general partner Will Reed will join its board of directors.
Vis founded MessageBird in 2011 after selling his micropayments business, Zaypay. MessageBird currently employs around 350 people in 21 cities and has offices in Singapore, San Francisco, Sydney and Bogota.
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