Founded in 2007, Seattle-based tech startup Zipwhip has more recently been known for its technology which “allows business customers to send texts from the web, desktop, and smartphones through the major US Wireless carriers.” Today it has been announced that the same startup company has received a $9 million Series B investment from a number of investment firms, including Microsoft Ventures (Via GeekWire.)
As part of the investment, funding for the 100 employees and the company will reach $20 million, and the funding will also be used to help grow the company’s sales and product development teams. Zipwhip and its software, nonetheless, functions similar to a Microsoft Exchange Server and allows businesses to text with their customers using already existing landline phones and toll-free numbers for customer service, appointment scheduling, and sales.
Customers of Zipwhip come from a wide variety of fields such as transportation, radio, medical, insurance, and fitness. Zipwhip CEO John Lauer put the situation best and told GeekWire,
“Businesses are late adopters, They don’t want the new thing and they don’t want to What’s App-enable or Facebook Messenger-enable their business. They just want to text-enable because everyone has texting… What’s so interesting about Microsoft participating in this round is that they’re looking at us and saying, ‘OK, we dominate the email space with respect to business software, and email is an open communication medium… Texting is emerging as an equivalently-important open communication medium. Some company will dominate the business software for that open communication medium, and we are in that position.”
ZipWhip has contacts with the major wireless carriers, which allows the start-up company to, “create industry policies which text-enabled existing hardline numbers.” According to GeekWire, the startup is also on pace to reach $10 million in annual recurring revenue by Q3 of this year and is also looking to double the existing 100 person workforce, and expand their 50 person sales team.Further reading: Microsoft, Microsoft Ventures