OneSignal raises $50M to automate SMS, in-app and email campaigns – TechCrunch

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OneSignal, a platform that powers mobile app notifications and more, today announced it has raised $50 million in a Series C round led by SignalFire and other existing investors BAM Elevate. The infusion brings OneSignal’s total to $80 million and will be used to invest in machine learning, geographic expansion and growing OneSignal’s team (from 140 employees to 170) by the end of the year.

Starting as a mobile game studio, OneSignal inspired customer engagement when co-founder and CEO George Degli saw an opportunity to solve a persistent challenge in app development: creating an effective push notification pipeline.

There is a big change in the mobile app industry. Changes in technology and regulation have made it harder to target ads on platforms like Facebook, making advertising less effective and more expensive. As a result, companies are shifting their focus from advertising channels like Facebook ads to ‘proprietary channels’ like push notifications, emails and in-app messages, Deglin told TechCrunch in an email. “While this has recently changed, much of the technology available to help brands engage with consumers on owned channels is not built for a mobile-centric world.”

On the other hand, Degin asserted that it is a signal it is. Mobile-centric, tools designed to enable businesses to automate the delivery of messages across channels, including SMS, email and app notifications and in-app messages. OneSignal customers can centralize user interactions within the platform, customizing their campaigns based on metrics to improve open rates.

There is truth to the idea that customized, personalized messages can drive product. In the year According to a 2021 McKinsey survey, 76% of consumers say that receiving personal interactions is a key reason for them to consider a brand, and 78% say that such content is more likely to buy again.

“OneSignal was founded by Long Vo and myself in 2015. Logg and I used to run a Y Combinator-backed game studio, but we moved it to a push notification platform. [and then a customer engagement solution] “Once developers realize how hard it is to communicate with their users,” said Deglin. “Prior to their meeting, I was co-founder and CTO of Uversity, a student engagement platform. Long Vo was the founder and art director of Gaia Online, an anime-themed social network. We were introduced through a mutual friend who thought we would be great co-founders.

Image Credits: A signal

OneSignal competes with Braze, CleverTap and Xtremepush, among others. Braz is a publicly traded company that has raised about $175 million in private equity, and CleverTap recently bought $105 million in funding for $775 million. But OneSignal argues that it differentiates itself by focusing on “intelligent delivery,” or analyzing the times and days when users engage with an app and automatically planning “re-engagement” campaigns based on historical trends.

“By offering automated personalization like this, OneSignal frees its customers to focus on building great applications and saves them the time and guesswork spent trying to determine the best time or frequency to send their messages,” added Deglin. “Just as smartphones are getting better at making recommendations based on the ways people use them, OneSignal sees an opportunity to democratize technology so that all app developers can enhance their messaging campaigns to deliver more personalized experiences to their users.”

Indeed, OneSignal has grown quite large, with more than 1.7 million developers and marketers on the platform and nearly 6,000 paying customers. One downside, Deglin says, is OneSignal’s premium plan, which limits certain features but doesn’t cap the number of users or messages customers can send push notifications to.

“One signal is that during the pandemic, many businesses are realizing the importance of retaining and retaining customers through push notifications and emails…and, therefore, it’s even more important to maximize user retention,” Deglin said. “OneSignal was well prepared for the economic headwinds and continues to grow rapidly without incurring significant costs. This round will enable OneSignal to achieve profitability while continuing rapid growth.

BAM Elevate’s Jamie McGurk, who will join OnSignal’s board of directors, said in a statement to TechCrunch: “Today’s consumers expect highly personalized, relevant and timely communication across all touchpoints. Creating a multi-channel communication strategy is a must and OneSignal allows you to do this quickly and easily. It is an honor to join the OneSignal team and I look forward to continuing the company’s tremendous growth with George and the rest of the leadership team.

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