Internet start-up Intercom raises €17m in Series B round – headcount to reach 100

22 Jan 2014

Intercom founder and CEO Eoghan McCabe

Irish start-up Intercom – a self-described ‘Silicon Valley outsider’ – has raised US$23m (€16.9m) in a Series B investment and that will see the company’s headcount grow to 100 people.

The investment in the Dublin company, which was founded 30 months ago, was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, investors in LinkedIn, Yelp, Skype, Pinterest, Box, Twilio and Shopify.

The investment brings to US$30m the company has raised over the course of three rounds.

The company was founded by Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, David Barrett and Ciaran Lee. Bessemer’s Ethan Kurzweil will join Intercom’s board along with early investor Mamoon Hamid.

Founder and CEO Eoghan McCabe said the company harbours ambitions to be a US$1bn business.

Announcing the investment in his blog McCabe said: “Intercom is our contribution to Internet innovation. Internet technologies are still catching up with how humans interact offline.

Disrupting the internet business

“The majority of progress in this space is on the consumer side—Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, et al. Intercom is bringing this to business. It’s a seamless, lightweight way for the whole company to connect personally with their customers.

“The incumbents haven’t innovated in over a decade. In fact, the separate help desks, email marketing tools, feedback products, and CRMs have only become more complex. These disconnected services cannot provide a holistic view of the customer. And as a result, the customer’s experience is very disjointed.

“Our vision is to be at the centre of all customer communication for all kinds of Internet business, which increasingly every business is becoming. We’re dedicated to going all the way with this,” McCabe said.

Intercom’s 2,000 customers include a who’s who of internet players including Hootsuite, Circle, and Heroku.

Customer satisfaction, McCabe said is “off the charts” with 65pc of monthly active users logging in every week and 35pc of weekly active users logging in five days per week.

McCabe said the Intercom started 2013 with 13 people and finished with 47. In May last year the company hired ex Google and Facebook manager Paul Adams who is now the company’s VP of product.

The company has today hired ex PayPal and Yammer executive Mark Woolway to be its chief operations officer.

“Intercom does not have an interesting business model,” McCabe said.

“We charge money for people to use our product. And we do not have incredible sales or marketing. We have no salespeople and made our first marketing hire one month ago. What we do have is an innovative product. Something that people can’t get elsewhere which does unique things for them. All of our value is in this technology.

“And our double-digit monthly growth comes from people liking it and sharing it with their friends. Our company will become more valuable mostly by investing in product. Making it better for those who use it today, and allowing it to be used on more platforms, in more markets,” McCabe said in his blog.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years