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Sinch snaps up MessageMedia for $1.3B to compete with Twilio in business SMS services

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Sinch — the Swedish company that provides a suite of services for companies to build communications and specifically “customer engagement” into their services by way of APIs — has made yet another acquisition in its global march to scale up its business and compete more squarely with Twilio. The company today announced that it has acquired MessageMedia, a provider of SMS and other messaging services for businesses to manage customer relations, user authentication, alerts and more.

The acquisition is being made for $1.3 billion — comprised of $1.1 billion in cash and the rest in shares (or in Sweden’s currency, SEK10,745 in total based on Sinch’s share price and yesterdays exchange rate). The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.

The deal is notable not just for giving Sinch a major inroad into the world of business SMS, but also because of the timing. Less than a month ago, Sinch’s big rival Twilio announced that it would acquire ZipWhip, another big player in the same area of business SMS, for $850 million.

MessageMedia, based out of Melbourne, Australia, is currently operational also in New Zealand, the U.S. and Europe, and it focuses on providing services primarily to the SMB market with a self-service platform where customers can build and operate services, with the option of using a web portal provided by MessageMedia to handle the traffic.

It has some 60,000 customers and handles 5 billion+ messages annually, Sinch said. Growth is particularly strong in the U.S. market, where MessageMedia is adding 1,500 new customers each month. Alongside SMS, it also provides tech for companies to build MMS experiences and mobile landing pages, and it also provides them with tools to integrate other features as well as an API gateway.

Sinch itself says it handles some 150 billion mobile customer engagements for its customers annually, and it has 8 of the 10 biggest tech companies as customers.

Sinch is publicly traded in Sweden and currently has a market cap of $13.6 billion, and the deal comes just weeks after the company announced that it would be raising $1.1 billion for more acquisitions, with a big chunk of the money coming from Softbank, one of its major backers.

Given the size of this deal announced today, now we know which deal Sinch had in mind. It would be interesting to know whether Sinch’s move to buy MessageMedia predated Twilio’s for ZipWhip, which definitely do not feel like a coincidence.

“Sinch powers mobile customer engagement for some of the largest brands and technology platforms in the world. With the acquisition of MessageMedia, Sinch will now be able to bring the benefits of enhanced mobile customer engagement to every small business on the planet,” CEO Oscar Werner said to TechCrunch. “No longer will you need the deep pockets of an enterprise or the technical skills of an engineer to deliver first-class customer experiences.”

Sinch has been on a fast pace of buying up companies in recent times to scale up its existing business, tapping not just into the huge surge of people using phones and the internet to communicate in these pandemic-stricken times, but also to bulk up and have more economies of scale in the communications industry, essentially a business built on aggregating incremental revenues.

That fact has led to a lot of consolidation, with Twilio also buying up strategic, smaller businesses in quick order.

In this regard, MessageMedia is a strong buy for Sinch because it’s generating strong cash. MessageMedia is expected to make $151 million in profits for the year ending June 30, with gross profits of $94 million and Ebitda of $51 million, Sinch said. Sinch itself is also profitable.

Sinch’s other deals have included Inteliquent for $1.14 billion, ACL in India for $70 million and SAP’s digital interconnect business for $250 million.

For its part, MessageMedia very much plays into and is a product of the same API economy that has lifted the likes of Twilio, Stripe and many others built on the premise of knitting together very complex services, which customers can then use by way of simple lines of code that they integrate into their own digital operations, be it websites, apps, or internal systems.

Communications, and specifically messaging API-based systems are estimated to be a $9-13 billion market, Sinch said, with the U.S. accounting for 30% of that, and the global market projected to grow between 25-30% until 2024. SMBs, who might lack the resources to build such tools from the ground up, are a big part of that activity.

“Mobile messaging delivers tremendous ROI but smaller businesses often lack tools that cater to their specific needs,” said Paul Perrett, MessageMedia CEO, in a statement. “Serving these customers presents a tremendous opportunity, and with Sinch we can build a global leader in our field.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/09/sinch-snaps-up-messagemedia-for-1-3b-to-compete-with-twilio-in-business-sms-services/

Techcrunch

Daily Crunch: In $1.2B deal, EV battery maker Solid Power files to go public

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To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Welcome back to the Daily Crunch for June 15, 2021. Henry here while your regular scribe is enjoying some hard-earned R&R.

We just secured Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to speak at our City Spotlight: Pittsburgh event. As Brian Heater said today, Pittsburgh currently has one of the world’s most vibrant robotic startup ecosystems, is at the center of much of the world’s autonomous vehicle research, and birthed successful companies like Duolingo.

Peduto will discuss the challenges and successes in building and nurturing this ecosystem with Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian at this great (and virtual) event. Register to attend here.

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Solid Power is going public: The solid-state battery developer backed by Ford and BMW said Tuesday it would head to the Nasdaq via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp III at a post-deal implied market valuation of $1.2 billion.
  • Andreessen Horowitz has launched its own media apparatus called Futre: The publication, funded by a16z funds, looks to provide content that doesn’t currently exist in the market and that can be created from the “unique, interesting perch” that the firm has, says Margit Wennmachers, the firm’s operating partner of marketing and Future. Good luck, a16z, and welcome to the jungle.
  • We have a new FTC commissioner: The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Big Tech critic and prominent antitrust scholar Lina Khan as a commissioner to the Federal Trade Commission, signaling a new era of scrutiny for the tech industry. Khan was confirmed in a 69-28 vote, with Republicans joining Democrats in a rare show of bipartisan support for Khan’s ideas on reining in tech’s most powerful companies.

Startups and VC

  • Solar funding: Heliogen raised $108 million in funding to test its 1,000-degree solar furnace at a few participating mines and refineries.
  • In no one we trust: Elisity, a platform that looks to help organizations transition from legacy access approaches to zero trust — a security model based on maintaining strict access controls and not trusting anyone — raised $26 million for its efforts.
  • From the mouths of authors: BookClub, which gives authors a chance to hold book groups, share exclusive video-based interviews and answer questions from readers, raised $20 million in a Series A round. If only Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Henry Miller and George Eliot were still alive.
  • The unicorn social: IRL, a social calendar app that could have crashed during COVID, instead capitalized on finding virtual events for users to attend and leveraged that success into a fresh round of $170 million in funding and unicorn status, now valued at $1.17 billion.
  • Home fires: Thumbtack, your favorite place to turn to when you don’t want to break anything in your house, raised $275 million at a $3.2 billion valuation.
  • Life-saving raise: Carbyne raised $20 million to help coordinate calls to emergency response teams, ambulances, hospitals and other actors who need to work together to save a life.
  • A sustainable fund: G2 Venture Partners raised $500 million to support entrepreneurs who aim to make existing industries more efficient, environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

How to identify unicorn founders when they’re still early-stage

What are investors looking for?

Founders often tie themselves in knots as they try to project qualities they hope investors are seeking. In reality, few entrepreneurs have the acting skills required to convince someone that they’re patient, dedicated or hard working.

Johan Brenner, general partner at Creandum, was an early backer of Klarna, Spotify and several other European startups. Over the last two decades, he’s identified five key traits shared by people who create billion-dollar companies.

“A true unicorn founder doesn’t need to have all of those capabilities on day one,” says Brenner, “but they should already be thinking big while executing small and demonstrating that they understand how to scale a company.”

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • Apple Podcasts Subscriptions are live worldwide: The subscriptions will allow podcast enthusiasts to access additional benefits for their hot listens, including ad-free listening, early access to new episodes, bonus material, exclusives and anything else that creators think their fans will fork over money for. Subscriptions are now live in more than 170 countries.
  • E-commerce platform Shopify said today that Shop Pay, its one-click checkout service, will become available to any U.S. merchant that sells on Facebook or Google, even if they don’t use Shopify’s software to power their online stores.
  • Over in Europe, a group of 200 startup founders, investors, associations and government members are backing a manifesto and a set of recommendations in order to create the next wave of tech giants across the continent.

TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing

Illustration montage based on education and knowledge in blue

Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

We’re thrilled with the responses to our survey about top growth marketers. It’s not too late to weigh in: Fill out the survey here.

If you’re a growth marketer, pass on the survey to your clients — we’d love to hear from them!

To find out more details about this project and how we plan to use it to shape our editorial coverage, visit techcrunch.com/experts.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/15/daily-crunch-19/

Continue Reading

Techcrunch

Daily Crunch: In $1.2B deal, EV battery maker Solid Power files to go public

Published

on

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Welcome back to the Daily Crunch for June 15, 2021. Henry here while your regular scribe is enjoying some hard-earned R&R.

We just secured Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to speak at our City Spotlight: Pittsburgh event. As Brian Heater said today, Pittsburgh currently has one of the world’s most vibrant robotic startup ecosystems, is at the center of much of the world’s autonomous vehicle research, and birthed successful companies like Duolingo.

Peduto will discuss the challenges and successes in building and nurturing this ecosystem with Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian at this great (and virtual) event. Register to attend here.

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Solid Power is going public: The solid-state battery developer backed by Ford and BMW said Tuesday it would head to the Nasdaq via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp III at a post-deal implied market valuation of $1.2 billion.
  • Andreessen Horowitz has launched its own media apparatus called Futre: The publication, funded by a16z funds, looks to provide content that doesn’t currently exist in the market and that can be created from the “unique, interesting perch” that the firm has, says Margit Wennmachers, the firm’s operating partner of marketing and Future. Good luck, a16z, and welcome to the jungle.
  • We have a new FTC commissioner: The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Big Tech critic and prominent antitrust scholar Lina Khan as a commissioner to the Federal Trade Commission, signaling a new era of scrutiny for the tech industry. Khan was confirmed in a 69-28 vote, with Republicans joining Democrats in a rare show of bipartisan support for Khan’s ideas on reining in tech’s most powerful companies.

Startups and VC

  • Solar funding: Heliogen raised $108 million in funding to test its 1,000-degree solar furnace at a few participating mines and refineries.
  • In no one we trust: Elisity, a platform that looks to help organizations transition from legacy access approaches to zero trust — a security model based on maintaining strict access controls and not trusting anyone — raised $26 million for its efforts.
  • From the mouths of authors: BookClub, which gives authors a chance to hold book groups, share exclusive video-based interviews and answer questions from readers, raised $20 million in a Series A round. If only Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Henry Miller and George Eliot were still alive.
  • The unicorn social: IRL, a social calendar app that could have crashed during COVID, instead capitalized on finding virtual events for users to attend and leveraged that success into a fresh round of $170 million in funding and unicorn status, now valued at $1.17 billion.
  • Home fires: Thumbtack, your favorite place to turn to when you don’t want to break anything in your house, raised $275 million at a $3.2 billion valuation.
  • Life-saving raise: Carbyne raised $20 million to help coordinate calls to emergency response teams, ambulances, hospitals and other actors who need to work together to save a life.
  • A sustainable fund: G2 Venture Partners raised $500 million to support entrepreneurs who aim to make existing industries more efficient, environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

How to identify unicorn founders when they’re still early-stage

What are investors looking for?

Founders often tie themselves in knots as they try to project qualities they hope investors are seeking. In reality, few entrepreneurs have the acting skills required to convince someone that they’re patient, dedicated or hard working.

Johan Brenner, general partner at Creandum, was an early backer of Klarna, Spotify and several other European startups. Over the last two decades, he’s identified five key traits shared by people who create billion-dollar companies.

“A true unicorn founder doesn’t need to have all of those capabilities on day one,” says Brenner, “but they should already be thinking big while executing small and demonstrating that they understand how to scale a company.”

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • Apple Podcasts Subscriptions are live worldwide: The subscriptions will allow podcast enthusiasts to access additional benefits for their hot listens, including ad-free listening, early access to new episodes, bonus material, exclusives and anything else that creators think their fans will fork over money for. Subscriptions are now live in more than 170 countries.
  • E-commerce platform Shopify said today that Shop Pay, its one-click checkout service, will become available to any U.S. merchant that sells on Facebook or Google, even if they don’t use Shopify’s software to power their online stores.
  • Over in Europe, a group of 200 startup founders, investors, associations and government members are backing a manifesto and a set of recommendations in order to create the next wave of tech giants across the continent.

TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing

Illustration montage based on education and knowledge in blue

Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

We’re thrilled with the responses to our survey about top growth marketers. It’s not too late to weigh in: Fill out the survey here.

If you’re a growth marketer, pass on the survey to your clients — we’d love to hear from them!

To find out more details about this project and how we plan to use it to shape our editorial coverage, visit techcrunch.com/experts.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/15/daily-crunch-19/

Continue Reading

Techcrunch

Daily Crunch: In $1.2B deal, EV battery maker Solid Power files to go public

Published

on

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Welcome back to the Daily Crunch for June 15, 2021. Henry here while your regular scribe is enjoying some hard-earned R&R.

We just secured Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to speak at our City Spotlight: Pittsburgh event. As Brian Heater said today, Pittsburgh currently has one of the world’s most vibrant robotic startup ecosystems, is at the center of much of the world’s autonomous vehicle research, and birthed successful companies like Duolingo.

Peduto will discuss the challenges and successes in building and nurturing this ecosystem with Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian at this great (and virtual) event. Register to attend here.

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Solid Power is going public: The solid-state battery developer backed by Ford and BMW said Tuesday it would head to the Nasdaq via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp III at a post-deal implied market valuation of $1.2 billion.
  • Andreessen Horowitz has launched its own media apparatus called Futre: The publication, funded by a16z funds, looks to provide content that doesn’t currently exist in the market and that can be created from the “unique, interesting perch” that the firm has, says Margit Wennmachers, the firm’s operating partner of marketing and Future. Good luck, a16z, and welcome to the jungle.
  • We have a new FTC commissioner: The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Big Tech critic and prominent antitrust scholar Lina Khan as a commissioner to the Federal Trade Commission, signaling a new era of scrutiny for the tech industry. Khan was confirmed in a 69-28 vote, with Republicans joining Democrats in a rare show of bipartisan support for Khan’s ideas on reining in tech’s most powerful companies.

Startups and VC

  • Solar funding: Heliogen raised $108 million in funding to test its 1,000-degree solar furnace at a few participating mines and refineries.
  • In no one we trust: Elisity, a platform that looks to help organizations transition from legacy access approaches to zero trust — a security model based on maintaining strict access controls and not trusting anyone — raised $26 million for its efforts.
  • From the mouths of authors: BookClub, which gives authors a chance to hold book groups, share exclusive video-based interviews and answer questions from readers, raised $20 million in a Series A round. If only Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Henry Miller and George Eliot were still alive.
  • The unicorn social: IRL, a social calendar app that could have crashed during COVID, instead capitalized on finding virtual events for users to attend and leveraged that success into a fresh round of $170 million in funding and unicorn status, now valued at $1.17 billion.
  • Home fires: Thumbtack, your favorite place to turn to when you don’t want to break anything in your house, raised $275 million at a $3.2 billion valuation.
  • Life-saving raise: Carbyne raised $20 million to help coordinate calls to emergency response teams, ambulances, hospitals and other actors who need to work together to save a life.
  • A sustainable fund: G2 Venture Partners raised $500 million to support entrepreneurs who aim to make existing industries more efficient, environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

How to identify unicorn founders when they’re still early-stage

What are investors looking for?

Founders often tie themselves in knots as they try to project qualities they hope investors are seeking. In reality, few entrepreneurs have the acting skills required to convince someone that they’re patient, dedicated or hard working.

Johan Brenner, general partner at Creandum, was an early backer of Klarna, Spotify and several other European startups. Over the last two decades, he’s identified five key traits shared by people who create billion-dollar companies.

“A true unicorn founder doesn’t need to have all of those capabilities on day one,” says Brenner, “but they should already be thinking big while executing small and demonstrating that they understand how to scale a company.”

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • Apple Podcasts Subscriptions are live worldwide: The subscriptions will allow podcast enthusiasts to access additional benefits for their hot listens, including ad-free listening, early access to new episodes, bonus material, exclusives and anything else that creators think their fans will fork over money for. Subscriptions are now live in more than 170 countries.
  • E-commerce platform Shopify said today that Shop Pay, its one-click checkout service, will become available to any U.S. merchant that sells on Facebook or Google, even if they don’t use Shopify’s software to power their online stores.
  • Over in Europe, a group of 200 startup founders, investors, associations and government members are backing a manifesto and a set of recommendations in order to create the next wave of tech giants across the continent.

TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing

Illustration montage based on education and knowledge in blue

Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

We’re thrilled with the responses to our survey about top growth marketers. It’s not too late to weigh in: Fill out the survey here.

If you’re a growth marketer, pass on the survey to your clients — we’d love to hear from them!

To find out more details about this project and how we plan to use it to shape our editorial coverage, visit techcrunch.com/experts.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/15/daily-crunch-19/

Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence

Scale AI CEO Alex Wang weighs in on software bugs and what will make AV tech good enough

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Scale co-founder and CEO Alex Wang joined us at TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility 2021 this week to discuss his company’s role in the autonomous driving industry and how it’s changed in the five years since its founding. Scale helps large and small AV players establish reliable “ground truth” through data annotation and management, and along the way, the standards for what that means have shifted as the industry matures.

Good data is the “good bones” of autonomous driving systems

Even if two algorithms in autonomous driving might be created more or less equal, their real-world performance could vary dramatically based on what they’re consuming in terms of input data. That’s where Scale’s value prop to the industry starts, and Wang explains why:

If you think about a traditional software system, the thing that will separate a good software system from a bad software system is the code, the quality of the code. For an AI system, which all of these self-driving vehicles or autonomous vehicles are, it’s the data that really separates an amazing algorithm from a bad algorithm. And so one thing we saw was that being one of the stewards and shepherds of high-quality data was going to be incredibly important for the industry, and that’s what’s played out. We work with many of the great companies in the space, from Aurora to Nuro to Toyota to General Motors, and our work with all of them is ensuring that they have really a solid data foundation, so they can build the rest of their stacks on top of it. (Time stamp: 06:24)

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/15/scale-ai-ceo-alex-wang-weighs-in-on-software-bugs-and-what-will-make-av-tech-good-enough/

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