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Chatbox integrates app information directly into chat. (Chatbox Photo)

Enterprise messaging startup Chatbox raised $4.5 million to help businesses communicate with customers.

Founded by professional poker veteran and long-time entrepreneur Phil Gordon, Seattle-based Chatbox makes software that allows companies to talk to customers via text messages, social media and chat services. Chatbox can automate parts of the process and integrate information from customer interactions with other pieces of enterprise data.

Phil Gordon (Chatbox Photo)

“Our platform really shines when it’s being used to orchestrate two-way personalized texting conversations where data is being shared to transact business quickly and efficiently,” Gordon said. “For example, an insurance company needs to re-enroll customers in benefits. With Chatbox, the company can manage that entire process via text message and our embedded microapp technology.”

Gordon told GeekWire the service runs on top of message network operators such as Bandwidth, Twilio, Zipwhip and Ytel. The company has built a roster of customers from a variety of industries, including insurance, financial services, education, travel and concierge and politics.

The Series A round, led by a group of angel investors, brings the company to $10.5 million in lifetime funding. Today, the company has just shy of 20 people. Gordon said the company will use the cash infusion to grow sales and marketing under Chief Revenue Officer Brad Epker, an early DocuSign employee who joined Chatbox earlier this year.

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