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Attentive: Getting The Message Across

By Jason Kong, Tom Loverro, Jules Maltz, and Karthik Ramakrishnan

Today, IVP is excited to announce our investment in Attentive, a personalized mobile messaging SaaS platform for brands and organizations. IVP co-led Attentive’s $70M Series C announced today and originally invested in the Series B, completed in August 2019. As part of the fundraise, Tom Loverro will join the board as an Observer. We look forward to partnering with Brian, Andrew, and the entire Attentive team alongside investors Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Eniac Ventures, and NextView Ventures to transform how brands engage with their customers.

IVP has had the opportunity to support some of the best software companies, including GitHub (MSFT), Mulesoft (CRM), Dropbox (DBX), Slack (WORK), and AppDynamics (CSCO), as well as companies that have come to define the modern sales and marketing technology stack, including G2, Podium, Marketo (ADBE), Omniture (ADBE), Buddy Media (CRM), SteelBrick (CRM), and Datalogix (ORCL). We see many ingredients that made these investments successful in Attentive.

Read on to find out why we invested:

Cutting Through the Noise

Our relationship with our inbox has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Since the days of IVP’s investment in Marketo in 2010, e-mail marketing has become pervasive across all brands and organizations with a digital presence. With so many different brands vying for customer attention, marketing teams try to stay top of mind by being at the top of the inbox. Given there is no marginal cost to sending additional promotional e-mails, brands are flooding their customers’ inboxes daily, leading to lower efficacy and diminished mindshare. Open rates for marketing e-mails are the lowest they have ever been at less than 2%, deteriorating every year. And while e-mail is clearly a two-way medium, it is used and perceived to be an asynchronous queue. Most marketing e-mail infrastructure was never intended to create a conversation. Email marketing has, in effect, become a one-way bullhorn from brands — and the messages often explicitly state “Do Not Reply!”. While online channels such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram are effective for customer acquisition, they are expensive and blunt tools in the context of re-engagement marketing.

Enter Attentive, which has developed a suite of software tools to help brands build a list of opt-in mobile messaging subscribers, automatically send highly personalized messages, power two-way conversations, and measure the impact of each message. Basic text messaging has been around for quite some time, yet mobile messaging represents an untapped channel for brands to engage with their core customers where they want to converse. A 2018 Twilio report found that consumers age 18–44 prefer messaging over e-mail for communicating with businesses. Not only is messaging a less crowded channel, but also it represents the preferred method of communication for consumers who want to receive these messages and promotions. The results speak for themselves. The customers we spoke to saw click-through rates on their messages of greater than 30%, leading to strong ROI immediately upon roll-out and mobile messaging becoming a top-three revenue channel within months of implementation.

Attending to Every Need

When customers were asked to describe their relationship with Attentive, one word came up time and time again: “attentive.” Simply put, from working with over seven hundred and fifty of the largest and most innovative brands around the world, Attentive has developed an unparalleled moat of expertise in the best and most effective practices for mobile messaging marketing. They have been able to productize this knowledge and deliver a service that sees an immediate return on investment. This leads to a virtuous flywheel where Attentive’s customers are highly loyal and continue to grow their usage and subscriber list over time. If you’re a marketer looking to drive revenue via mobile messaging, reach out to learn more here.

The Untapped Opportunity Ahead

We believe messaging presents a fundamentally better means to communicate, creating a unique opportunity for an explicitly opt-in and highly relevant dialogue between brand and customer. Order updates, promotional offers, and customer support should all exist within a single conversation; this helps build brand loyalty while creating a better experience for end users. IVP is thrilled to partner with Attentive to create this new reality.

Jason Kong, Tom Loverro, Jules Maltz, and Karthik Ramakrishnan are Investors at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA.

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