Attentive raises $40m to transform mobile marketing

13 Aug 2019

Image: naka/

Attentive will use its recent round of investment to scale existing operations and hire across all departments.

On Monday (12 August), mobile messaging start-up Attentive announced that it has raised $40m in Series B funding.

The round was led by Sequoia, with participation from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Eniac Ventures and NextView Ventures. There was also funding from new investors IVP and High Alpha.

Attentive ran its last funding round in February 2018 when it exited stealth, raising $13m. The company said that its latest investment will be used to further scale existing operations and hire across all departments to “support rapid business growth and meet market demand”.

The New York-based start-up was founded in 2016 by the team from TapCommerce, which previously sold its app retargeting company to Twitter in 2014 for a reported $100m.  Attentive’s teams are now based in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver and Atlanta.

‘Future of communications’

Attentive’s messaging system uses behavioural data to send text messages to subscribers that are personalised to them. These texts include notices about limited-time offers, loyalty programme rewards, customised product recommendations and cart abandonment reminders.

“Businesses can no longer build a relationship with the modern consumer through email alone,” the company said.

“Email inboxes have evolved into cluttered feeds, making it difficult for brands to break through the noise. In turn, email performance, as measured by how many subscribers click through on a message, has fallen 45pc over the last five years.”

Attentive began working with 50 commerce and retail customers when it first came out of stealth, but now it has extended its client base to 400, including brands such as Sephora and Urban Outfitters. The start-up sees mobile messaging as the “future of brand communications”.

“Rather than continuing to shout one-way messages at consumers, forward-thinking businesses will embrace personalised, real-time mobile-first channels,” the company added.

Scott Friend, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, said: “As former investors in CEO Brian Long’s last business, TapCommerce, and the lead investors in Attentive’s earlier Series A round, we’re incredibly excited to have the opportunity to continue to support this team as they pioneer a new chapter in mobile marketing.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic