Dedicated messaging apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger might get more buzz, but good old-fashioned SMS text messaging is still the main form of communication for many consumers, if the growth experienced by one Seattle startup is any indication.
Privately held Zipwhip, whose subscription service lets companies text with their customers from landline phones and toll-free numbers, offered a new glimpse into its finances today. Zipwhip says it’s on track to reach $10 million in annual recurring revenue by the third quarter of this year. The company’s monthly recurring revenue rose from $117,000 in December 2014 to $420,000 in December 2015.
What’s driving the growth? “People are still texting,” Zipwhip CEO John Lauer told GeekWire at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. “I’ve had so many VCs tell me, people are not going to text in the future, they’re going to move to WhatsApp. And they’re not. They’re still texting. Consumers don’t want to do voice calls anymore. They just want to text.”
Zipwhip’s technology lets companies text from the web, desktop computers and smartphones, working across the U.S. wireless carriers. The company says its most rapid growth has come from businesses in the insurance, automotive, staffing, fitness, transportation, radio, and medical industries, for scenarios including customer service, appointment scheduling and sales.
Zipwhip currently has more than 50 employees. The company raised $5 million last January, and about $3 million before that, in rounds led by Ronin Capital of Chicago.. It’s currently in the process of raising as much as $15 million more.
Lauer said in the company’s news release today, “We plan on staying focused on improving our product and building our team, but the market is too big not to raise another round of capital.”