OneSignal, a platform that powers notifications for mobile apps and more, today announced it has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by BAM Elevate with participation from SignalFire and… other existing investors. The infusion brings OneSignal’s total raised to $80 million and will be used to invest in machine learning, geographic expansion and the growth of OneSignal’s team (from 140 employees to 170) by the end of the year.
Starting out as a mobile game studio, OneSignal turned to customer engagement when co-founder and CEO George Deglin saw an opportunity to tackle an ongoing challenge in app development: creating an efficient push notification pipeline. .
“There is a huge shift happening in the mobile app industry. Technological and regulatory changes have made advertising less effective and more expensive by making it harder to target ads on platforms like Facebook. companies are shifting their focus from paid advertising channels such as Facebook Ads to ‘proprietary channels’ such as push notifications, emails and in-app messages,” Deglin told TechCrunch via email. “Despite this recent shift, many of the technologies available to help brands engage with users on proprietary channels were not designed for a mobile-centric world.”
In contrast, claims Deglin, OneSignal is Mobile-centric, with tools designed to enable businesses to automate message delivery across all channels, including SMS, email, app notifications and in-app messaging. OneSignal customers can centralize user communications within the platform, customizing their campaigns based on metrics to improve open rates.
There is some truth in the idea that personalized and personalized messages can move the product. According to a 2021 McKinsey survey, 76% of consumers said receiving personalized communications was a key factor in driving their consideration for a brand, while 78% said such content made them more likely to repurchase.
“OneSignal was founded by Long Vo and I in 2015. Long and I ran a game studio backed by Y Combinator, but turned it into a push notification platform [and then a customer engagement solution] after discovering how difficult it was for developers to communicate with their users,” Deglin said. “Before they met, I was co-founder and CTO of Uversity, a student engagement platform. Long Vo was co-founder and art director of Gaia Online, an anime-themed social network. were introduced by a mutual friend who thought we would be great co-founders for each other.
OneSignal competes with Braze, CleverTap, and Xtremepush, among others. Braze is a publicly traded company, having raised approximately $175 million when private, while CleverTap recently secured $105 million in funding at a valuation of $775 million. But Deglin argues OneSignal differentiates itself by focusing on “smart delivery,” or analyzing the time and day users interact with an app and automatically scheduling “re-engagement” campaigns to run based on historical trends. .
“By providing these kinds of automatic customizations, OneSignal allows its customers to focus on building great apps and saves them the time and guesswork they would otherwise spend trying to figure out the best time or frequency to send their messages,” Deglin added. “Just as smartphones get better at making recommendations based on how people use them, OneSignal sees an opportunity to democratize the technology for all app developers to optimize their messaging campaigns to deliver more personalized to their users.”
Indeed, OneSignal has grown quite large, with over 1.7 million developers and marketers on the platform and around 6,000 paying customers. One accelerator has been OneSignal’s freemium plan, Deglin says, which limits certain features but does not limit the number of users or messages customers can send push notifications to.
“OneSignal has grown rapidly during the pandemic as more businesses have recognized the importance of keeping their customers engaged and increasing retention, with push notifications and emails. The company has also benefited from changes in the advertising ecosystem that have made user acquisition more expensive and, therefore, even more important for maximizing user retention,” Deglin said. prepared for economic headwinds and continued to grow rapidly without spending too much. This cycle allows OneSignal to achieve profitability while maintaining rapid growth… Efficiency has been a priority for the company and gross margins are over 90%.
BAM Elevate’s Jamie McGurk, who joins OnSignal’s board of directors, told TechCrunch in a statement, “Users today expect hyper-personalized, relevant, and timely communication across every touchpoint. . Creating a multi-channel communication strategy is a must and OneSignal lets you do it quickly and easily. It is an honor to join the OneSignal team and I look forward to working with George and the rest of the management team to continue the great progress the company has made.