23 Nov 2020

Our investment in Attentive: personalized mobile messaging for innovative brands

As we send messages back and forth on WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat and LINE, we often forget the power of the mighty SMS. SMS is also often underused by marketing departments, but it’s forecast to be a key growth area in mobile marketing in the next decade. Compared to other channels, SMS has high read and response rates compared to email.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our participation in Attentive’s $230M Series D today. Attentive is a channel and campaign management platform specialising in SMS and mobile engagement and is already working with some of the world’s top brands, including Coach and Urban Outfitters.

E-commerce sales are predicted to be predominantly mobile by 2021. . As the call-avoidant Millennials at Atomico can attest, Millennials, Gen Z and Baby Boomers prefer text over phone and email and spend a high proportion of their time on their phones messaging.

To date, however, compliance has been a hurdle to effective SMS campaigns, as specific opt-ins are required to keep compliant while communicating with customers. Furthermore, siloed data means marketers often can’t accurately target campaigns.

Attentive is solving the issue of privacy compliant onboarding, while also providing robust cross-device attribution by message, order, and subscriber and integrations with analytics platforms to create increased stickiness. Attentive helps unlock siloed data through a variety of API based integrations across the tech stack of the modern tech-enabled marketer allowing for effective targeting. On average, Attentive is responsible for driving 18.5% of its customers’ total online revenue, with a focus on increasing sales taking place on mobile devices.

Not only were we impressed with the technology, but we were blown away by Brian, Andrew and the team. These were serial entrepreneurs who had previously built mobile ad retargeting platform TapCommerce which sold to Twitter in 2014,

Finally, we saw synergies with our extensive work in the communications space. Communications is written in Atomico’s DNA — we were founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, and our Partner Hiro Tamura was responsible for Skype’s Asia expansion. Our Partner Carter Adamson, who was previously head of product at Skype and was at ICQ and AIM before that, will be working with Attentive. Recently, we’ve also gained even more expertise in the space through our investments in cloud communications platform Messagebird and the world’s best Caller ID and spam blocking app, Truecaller. We even have had experience with the humble SMS through our investment with accuRx, who are building communications tools for the NHS in the U.K.

The EU is still the world’s largest market with a high per capita GDP for its 500 million consumers. Our Growth Acceleration Team is looking forward to helping Attentive scale in Europe, though support on hiring, marketing and communications, and commercial partnerships.

We’re proud to join the Attentive journey and help the team build a truly global communications business.

Show me all insights