Intercom’s latest funding round sees its valuation soar.
Messaging start-up Intercom’s latest funding round of $125m sees the company achieve unicorn status, joining approximately 200 other start-ups valued at $1bn or more.
Bloomberg reported that the Series D funding round was led by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, with contribution from Google Ventures as well as investors from prior funding rounds.
A massive shift towards messaging
Meeker spoke about the general trend towards more “customer-centric” online commerce and said Intercom piqued her interest as it works in a broad set of situations and handles customer interactions in a more consistent manner.
Intercom said 500m messages went out on its service per month in 2017, a massive increase from 250m monthly messages the previous year. Intercom now has more than 25,000 customers in 117 countries, and clients include Shopify and Sotheby’s.
Staff numbers at the company have almost doubled since 2016, with 500 employees now working across five different offices.
Co-founder of Intercom, Eoghan McCabe, told CNBC that messaging tools are now a standard and expected method of communication. “If you think about how you connect in any kind of digital or virtual way with anyone in your life, it is through a messenger.
“Messengers are simply the default standard, the expectation for consumers, and we are certain that all businesses will use messengers to connect with their customers in the very near future. Intercom has been very much creating and pushing that trend.”
While McCabe told CNBC in 2016 that the company did not require any further funding, his thinking on the matter has changed. He said: “In 2011, I thought that 6.5 years in, we’d be bored; the company will be big and bloated. You really wouldn’t guess you’d get to do so much of the fun stuff we were doing in the early days.”
Updated, 5.26pm, 27 March 2018: This article was updated to amend an incorrect reference regarding the volume of messages handled by Intercom. The company handled 500m messages per month in 2017.