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Whispir in action. Credit: Whispir
Whispir in action. Credit: Whispir

Australian communications app builder Whispir has made some big moves recently.

Late last year, the company expanded to the Americas, choosing Seattle as the location for its first U.S. office. But Whispir has kept its presence here in Seattle under wraps, until now. Monday Whispir gave details about its Seattle office and announced it has completed an approximately $8.9 million Series A funding round led by Telstra Ventures, NSI Ventures, Rippledot Capital, private investors and Jeromy Wells, Whispir’s co-founder. Whispir will use the money to continue expanding in the U.S. and Asia.

Brant Williams, vice president of Americas for Whispir.
Brant Williams, vice president of Americas for Whispir.

“We had the operating capital to hire the folks we have,” Brant Williams, Whispir’s vice president for the Americas, told GeekWire. “This additional capital will put some rocket fuel on it.”

The company describes itself as “communications-apps-as-a-service” built on top of Twilio. It helps businesses and organizations, regardless of their technical coding experience, build apps to communicate internally, talk to customers, and function in a crisis. Customers include IBM, Changi Airport in Singapore, Australian Broadcast Corp. and others.

Williams is a veteran of Seattle startups as well as RealNetworks and Amazon. In addition to Seattle, Williams also leads Whispir’s San Francisco office. Williams told GeekWire the Seattle office has about 10 people right now, many of whom he worked with at RealNetworks, including Global Head of Digital Marketing Andy Boyer and Director of Enterprise Sales Blaine Butler.

The Seattle team works out of a 1,400-square-foot space in the Pioneer Square neighborhood that Williams described as “scrappy chic.” Williams said the company chose Seattle for its first U.S. office because it has a comparable level of talent to the San Francisco Bay Area, but cost of living is a lot lower here.

“Basically, you’ll get (two times) your investment for a top line team and an engineering team in Seattle than you can in the Bay Area,” Williams said.

Whispir is the latest in a stream of more than 80 tech companies big and small to open offices in the Seattle area. GeekWire has closely tracked the opening of these offices in the Seattle area, and you can see the full list here.

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