Series D growth round led by Goldman Sachs supports industry pioneer’s ambition to text-enable the more than 200 million North American business phone numbers
SEATTLE — As the leading provider of texting for business and the original creators of the business texting industry in North America, Zipwhip is on a mission to help businesses communicate with their customers in the easiest, most convenient way possible. Before Zipwhip established ground-breaking carrier connections between wireless and landline operators in 2014, it was impossible to text a landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number. Now the full potential of business-to-consumer texting is being fully realized, with nearly 75 percent of consumers indicating they wish more businesses would use text messaging to communicate, according to recent Zipwhip research.
In support of this growing demand, today, the company announced it has raised $51.5 million in a Series D growth round led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing group with participation from current investors including OpenView, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and Voyager Capital. This investment will propel Zipwhip as it continues on its path to one day text-enable the more than 200 million business phone numbers in North America. Zipwhip has made notable strides toward reaching this goal, having already text-enabled 3.3 million business phone numbers – an achievement that has driven a year-over-year revenue growth of more than 80 percent.
To continue this rapid growth, the Series D funding will be used to support an aggressive product development and expansion strategy, and substantially grow Zipwhip’s engineering and leadership teams. As part of the financing, Matthew Dorr, Vice President in Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing group, will be joining Zipwhip’s board of directors.
“Zipwhip sits at the powerful intersection of a huge addressable market, a proven history in industry innovation and an agile SaaS-based approach that will allow the company to grow and evolve for the foreseeable future,” said Dorr. Hillel Moerman, Head of Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing group, added, “The product, team and corporate vision behind Zipwhip position the company to continue its successful trajectory. We look forward to working with Zipwhip’s leadership team as they meet the growing demand for a better way for businesses and consumers to communicate.”
Today, over 100 enterprise organizations rely on Zipwhip to more effectively communicate with customers. This latest funding round will allow Zipwhip to introduce new enterprise-grade software and API capabilities, while cultivating valuable partnerships, developing new integrations and expanding its channel presence.
“Zipwhip is the definition of a ten-year overnight success. Over the last decade, we’ve grown, evolved, then grown some more as we carve out our place as the definitive leader of texting for business,” said John Lauer, co-founder and CEO of Zipwhip. “This funding allows us to continue to evolve and expand our product suite, reach new customers in new industries and educate the country – and the world – about the power of texting.”
This funding comes during an inflection point for Zipwhip, which has secured a surge of new customers, expanded its product capabilities, seen extensive corporate growth and solidified its executive leadership team over the last year. This growth includes:
Software & API Customer Success: Today, over 10,000 direct customers trust Zipwhip with their business texting needs, while more than 30,000 businesses tap into Zipwhip’s software solutions. The company serves a diverse set of customers spanning small shops to Fortune 500 corporations and has increased its software customer base by 40 percent year-over-year. Customers include more than 2,000 insurance agencies, nearly 150 professional sports teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco Giants and San Antonio Spurs, along with nearly 1,000 staffing agencies and 125 major franchise brands encompassing nearly 3,000 franchisees.
Product Evolution: To date, Zipwhip has text-enabled more than 3.3 million landlines, VoIP numbers and toll-free phone numbers. This, along with key product innovations in 2018 including the release of the Zipwhip 2.0 platform and the addition of rich communication services (RCS) into the Zipwhip product suite, has fueled a year-over-year message volume growth of 262 percent.
Corporate & Employee Growth: Building on customer success and product growth, Zipwhip has also recently achieved several notable revenue and employee milestones. The more than 80 percent year-over-year revenue growth has allowed the company to bring on more than 200 new team members in the past three years to a total of more than 260 employees, requiring an expansion to a second floor within its Seattle headquarters to accommodate the additional headcount.
Executive Bench Expansion: To continue taking Zipwhip into the future, the company made several key executive appointments in 2018 – including software-as-a-service industry veteran CMO Scott Heimes who joined the company in April from SendGrid, which was recently acquired by Twilio. More recently, well-known Pacific Northwest finance figure Bob Chamberlain joined the organization as CFO while entrepreneur and experienced HR leader Kirsten Spoljaric joined as SVP of People, furthering Zipwhip’s position as one of the region’s most coveted startups to work for. To cap off the year, Zipwhip also brought on two new telecommunications industry veterans – Alison Billings and Paul Wheeler – to expand carrier relationships and partnerships throughout the United States and Canada.
For further details on Zipwhip’s go-forward strategy, check out the latest blog post.
Zipwhip empowers companies to communicate with their customers in the most effective and preferred way possible – text messaging. As the pioneer of texting for business, Zipwhip first enabled text messaging to and from existing landline, VoIP and toll-free phone numbers in 2014. Zipwhip’s direct network connectivity, intuitive cloud-based software and an enterprise-grade API mean businesses can use any computer or mobile device to securely and reliably reach their customers, every time. Your customers are only a text away: www.zipwhip.com.
About Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing group
Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing is the firm’s investment platform dedicated to providing growth equity capital to middle market companies globally.