SendBird, #1 Chat Platform for Apps and Websites, Raised $102M Series B. What’s Next?

SendBird, a complete chat platform with Messaging SDKs and Chat API, recently closed $102M Series B. $50M was announced in Feb. 2019 led by Iconiq Capital, which claims such big-name backers as Mark Zuckerberg. Another $52M Extension was announced in May 2019 led by Tiger Global Management. Existing investors Shasta Ventures, August Capital, Y Combinator and Funders Club also participated, and Zillionize invested in the seed round in March 2016.

The company has similar value propositions as Twilio for communications or Stripe for payments. It enables developers to integrate chat and messaging features into their mobile apps or websites with a couple of lines of code. With the new funding, SendBird will re-invest in their product, hiring, go-to-market, and is well positioned for more aggressive growth and International expansion to solidify their #1 leading position by number of users, revenue and growth rate (doubling and tripling)!

SendBird has very flexible, highly scalable, fully customizable, white label messaging capability. “We come with a fully managed infrastructure. So basically, you can log into any mobile applications or websites out there, and use our messaging capability.” company founder and CEO John Kim explained.

It is applicable in any application that requires communication, including gaming (like Nexon, Glu Mobile and Dream11), dating apps (like Hinge), on-demand delivery services (like GoJek and Delivery Hero), and marketplace (like Dubizzle) – any case where two people need to communicate quickly. SendBird’s other notable customers include Yahoo!, NBA, Managed by Q (WeWork), and KeepTruckin etc. all over the world.

Feel free to catch Bloomberg’s LIVE interview with CEO John Kim here on July 08, 2019. When asked about SendBird’s runway and if profitable, John commented, “We’ve been growing and operating very capital-efficiently so our runway could be 8 to 3 years, give or take. We can be profitable if we choose to, but we’ll reinvest so we are not profitable by choice. Our investors are very long-term thinking and would want to see us really dominate this market and continue to be the number 1, rather than turn a quick profit. In the foreseeable future, we are very financially stable. ” Doesn’t this remind you what Jeff Bezos always preaches? 🙂

In John’s spare time, apparently he thinks in much grander scheme like M&A to form new countries and test new systems. Well, after all, he’s already expanded SendBird offices from South Korea and Silicon Valley to London, Singapore and Bengaluru, so maybe one day, he’ll also take SendBird to Mars!

Lambda School Raised $30M Series B To Empower Underserved Adults With Free Online Education. What’s Next?

Lambda School, a for-profit online coding bootcamp with Income Sharing Agreement (free until hired for more than $50,000/year and then pay 17% monthly salaries capped at $30,000 tuition in total) that Zillionize seed invested from YC S17 batch, announced its $30M Series B funding in January 2019. This round brings the total capital invested in Lambda to $48 million at a post-money valuation of $150 million.

Lambda School Cofounder Austin Allred. COURTESY: LAMBDA
As the founder and CEO Austen mentioned in this Forbes article, this round actually came inbound other than traditionally active fundraising effort. “I was getting a dozen emails a day from potential investors,” he says. “I think we were the first coding boot camp to put all the pieces together, and word gets around in Silicon Valley.”

In this post, we’ll share some more exciting news since their Series B announcement.

  • International Expansion. You may find out more here regarding its EU/UK program, and here about its partnership with PayStack to expand in Africa.

  • $2,000 Monthly Living Stipend. You may participate in the Q&As here via hacker news or apply to join their waitlist on their website here
Check out the blog post here
  • Loaner Laptops. You may read more about Anthony’s story on his own blog here

  • Charity Fund. You may kindly donate here to help cover internet bills, rent checks, etc for Lambda School students who are out of options financially. True story: a mere $400 was separating a student from graduating and 2 months after Lambda briefly covered his rent, he got a full-time job making $70,000/year.
  • “Summer Hacker Program for Women launched by YC co-founder Jessica Livingston with Lambda School. “I’m going to give 40 women $9000 stipends to cover their living expenses while they take Lambda School’s programming course. Lambda School has created a 15-week program designed to fit during the summer break and have generously agreed to cover these 40 students’ $12,000 tuition. We’re calling it the “Summer Hackers Program.” And you may read more why Livingston started this program here.
  • Inspiring success hire stories @HumansOfLambda. My most recent favorite would be this unnamed hero beating all the odds to find her way to a better life: single parent with 5 small children, no work experience and half a degree, teenager kid challenge, early stage cancer diagnosis, enrolled in and graduated from Lambda School with 6-figure salary (and more than one job offer)!
In addition, feel free to check out Lambda School’s CIRR Outcomes Report for H1 2018 cohort to let these numbers convince and impress you!
You may also listen to Austen’s podcast with YC to learn more about this non-traditional founder building a non-traditional but life-changing startup.

    1. grew up in Utah
    2. served as a Mormon missionary in Ukraine before college
    3. dropped out of college
    4. lived in a car for 3 months in Palo Alto
    5. hustled to sell 300 football tickets to pay for car tow
    6. failed a previous startup with Series A investor pulling out last minute, but hence published a successful book writing about growth (Cindy’s note: I actually had to dig into my notes 2yrs ago to find this reddit thread that got me convinced (together with his other qualities) to back Austen on his new venture: “I’ve been doing whatever the hell you call this my whole life. SEO, ads, CRO, SQL, a little data modeling to make it work at scale. Even wrote a book about it that I’ve made $130k from in the past year.”
    7. launched Lambda School with a fellow BYU dropout Ben Nelsonor
    8. the rest is history (in the making)

Better yet, follow Austen on Twitter to see why the hype?! Like me, you may not even need your 2nd cup of coffee everyday after reading all those inspiring stories from Lambda School graduates! 🙂

Drivezy – Self Drive Rental Service in India Raises $20M

Two years ago, we added Drivezy (formerly JustRide) to our portfolio and in such a short span of time, Drivezy has become one of the biggest marketplaces in India for renting cars and motorbikes.

Drivezy is constantly adding more funds to keep its fuel tank full for a long and successful journey. For instance, it has raised $20M in Series B round led by Das Capital (other investors include Yamaha Corporation, Axan Partners and IT-Farm). Not just that, Drivezy has also signed a $100M asset financing deal with Japan based ICO (Initial Coin Offering) advisory service, AnyPay which is great. Keep driving forward, Drivezy!

Abhishek Mahajan, one of the company’s five co-founders, told TechCrunch in an interview that the fleet should add a further 50,000-60,000 new vehicles, 75 percent of which would be two-wheelers, thanks to the AnyPay deal.

Mahajan said that Drivezy is currently market leader when it comes to self-drive two-wheelers — “self-drive” meaning vehicles that can be rented for a trip — with motorbikes and scooters accounting for “the bulk” of transactions, but just 20 percent of revenue. (That’s opposed to 80 percent for cars.) Revenue itself is 25 percent of the cut of a rental.

Aside from the asset financing deal — which will see AnyPay’s Harbourfront Capital vehicle own the new assets — Drivezy uses peer-to-peer and dealership partners for its fleet. The peer-to-peer appeal centers around increasing the utility of vehicles (and providing additional income to owners); that’s a similar pitch to car dealerships, who can draw income from vehicles used on Drivezy that would otherwise sit idle waiting to be purchased.

But the AnyPay deal is a “game changer,” according to Mahajan.

“When we fast-forward five years, we can’t imagine a scenario that car ownership in India goes from eight percent [right now] to U.S. level of 80 percent. India will have to skip a cycle on the culture of ownership and move into a sustainable sharing of cars model,” he added.

Please read the full story at TechCrunch. – AI-Based Revenue Intelligence Platform Raises $30M

Graduating from YC Summer 2016 batch and starting as a report card of sales people, has now turned into a revenue intelligence platform for enterprises that intakes data from 90+ sources and analyzes it with specially designed AI algorithms to deliver insight on revenue opportunities. To improve their technology and expand their business further, has raised another $30M in Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from GGV Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Y Combinator.

The startup, founded by Oleg Rogynskyy, previously raised $7 million. It started as a software meant to give sales managers a predictive playbook for the best way to close a deal, but investors have a master plan for the long term.

While Rogynskyy tells me he’d eventually like to take the company public, first needs to solidify itself as an AI solution for enterprises. To do so, the founder says they will use about half of the Series B investment to fund commercial expansion and customer acquisition (something the Andreessen network will undoubtedly catalyze) and the other half to fuel data science and engineering advancements within the business. The San Francisco-based company has also opened offices in Boston and Los Angeles, and is considering building out an engineering-focused team in Canada.

“We’ve expanded so that we don’t solely work with salespeople. We now work with everyone who touches the customer interactions, including marketing, inside sales engineers, customer success and sales support services. not only captures the activity of salespeople, but now gives teams a 360 degree view of everything that is happening with a customer across an entire team,” explains Rogynskyy.

Please read the full story at TechCrunch.

Bitmovin – API-Driven Online Video Technology Service Raises Another $30M

Bitmovin – an online video technology service offering API-driven cloud based video encoding with in-depth analytics and HTML5 video player, has collected $30M in a Series B funding round. This round was led by Highland Europe and other investors including Atomico, Constantia New Business, Dawn Capital and Y Combinator also participated. Bitmovin went through Series A in 2016 to get $10.3M funding which was after one year when Bitmovin was added to our portfolio and as per Crunchbase, the total funding amount raised by Bitmovin till date has reached $40.3M.

The core product offered by Bitmovin is its video encoding service which can be tried for free through a cool Bitmovin Dashboard. However, on-premise encoding or encoding infrastructure service is a paid feature available only to enterprises. Bitmovin also offers a highly customizable HTML5 video player that supports DRM (Digital Rights Management) and monetizing video content by integrating advertisements. Botmovin’s last product is video analytics which provides detailed information on a variety of data metrics. Using analytics APIs, enterprises can build custom dashboards as per their own needs. Few OSS dashboards are also available which can be used by developers as a starting point for building their own ones.

The company says the new round of funding will be used to scale its product R&D, field engineering and sales teams worldwide — with the aim being to expand its global customer base of TV streaming providers, internet companies and social media companies. The Series B brings total funding for the 2013-founded company and Y Combinator alumnus to $43 million.

“Bitmovin came about as a spin-off from research we did together at the University of Klagenfurt, in Austria,” says Bitmovin CEO Stefan Lederer, who founded the company with CTO Christopher Müller. “During our PhDs we co-created the MPEG-DASH video streaming standard, which is used by YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. amongst many others today, and which is used in total for more than 50% of the peak internet traffic. The research evolved into the company, with the help of angel investors including senior people at Cisco, Netflix, Accenture, Drupal and DropBox”.

“We are different from the existing vendors as we are deeply developer and API focussed, with a passion for innovation and disruptive technologies. That’s our background, we are engineers, and we like to build the best products. Thus we’ve been the first ones in many new technologies on the market, setting the bar on performance and efficiency of video streaming”.

On the technology side, recent Bitmovin announcements include the ability to use AI to encode videos more effectively (learning, scene-by-scene how each video is treated so the next one is handled more quickly) and a new video player that can reduce the load time on a typical HTML page by a second.

“We’re also proud to support a new royalty-free codec called AV1, which came out last week (backed by Apple, Bitmovin, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, amongst others). It shifts the tectonic plates in video because it’s the first time that online video innovation will be possible without making payments to a pool of incumbent, traditional media and consumer electronics companies. It helps opens the playing field to internet companies to, potentially, take more of the lead in video entertainment. It also means more predictability as companies will not be affected by changes in patent pools,” says Lederer.

Please read the full story at TechCrunch.

Eight – Smart Sleep Products Company Raises Another $14M

Almost an year ago, we announced about $5M funding raised by our portfolio startup, Eight in Series A round. And we are very excited to share that Eight, a smart sleep products manufacturing company has also raised another $14M in Series B funding round led by Khosla Ventures in participation with existing investors Yunqi Partners and YCombinator.

“The partnership with Khosla is a clear fit for us. They share our vision of a future in which technology and data make healthcare more scientific and consistent. With this new funding, our growing team and investors reaffirm the commitment we made in 2014 to bringing the biggest technological evolution that sleep has seen in the last 300 years.”, said Matteo Franceschetti Co-founder and CEO, Eight.

“Thanks to over 20,000 of you, we are on a path to become the largest sleep database in the world. In addition to tracking over 2.5 million nights of sleep, we have also collected and processed 500 terabytes of data, executed over 200,000 sleep-related smart home actions, and warmed up beds for over 1 million hours.” added Matteo Franceschetti.

Please read full story at Eight.

Bevi – Eco-Friendly Smart Water Cooler Raises Another $16.5M

Our portfolio startup, Bevi – an environment friendly smart water cooler for offices with flavors and fizz has raised another $16.5M in Series B funding round. Earlier in December 2015, it raised $6.5M in Series A. With the freshly raised amount, Bevi plans to deploy its products to more locations across the U.S. and we wish them good luck with their expansion plans.

The company says around 1,000 of the Internet-connected beverage kiosks have been deployed in the offices of approximately 370 companies, including Apple, AT&T, Fidelity, GE, and Netflix.

The Series B round was led by Trinity Ventures, which has backed beverage companies like Starbucks and Jamba Juice, as well as tech startups like 3D printing company Markforged. Earlier Bevi investors Horizons Ventures and Tamarisc also contributed to the latest funding round. Bevi says it previously raised $11 million.

Bevi’s machines have a touchscreen that lets thirsty users select still or sparkling water, with a choice of flavors like orange mango, coconut, or a combination of blueberry and cucumber. Inside the machine, a system of pumps and valves take tap water from a hose and funnel it through a choice of flavor mixes and carbonation processes. Meanwhile, sensors and software help Bevi track things like how much concentrate of each flavor is left, how many beverages are being consumed, and so on. That enables the company to proactively refill inventory and fix maintenance issues—and to better tailor options to each client, say if a company’s employees prefer more organic choices or unsweetened flavors.

Bevi had sales of about $100,000 in 2015, and last year its revenue exceeded $1 million, Grundy says.

Please read the full story at Xconomy.