SAN FRANCISCO — ManyChat, which helps businesses uses Facebook bots for marketing, has raised $18 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Flint Capital also participated in the round.
ManyChat helps small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) grow by leveraging popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger to engage customers. With over 2 billion people now using messaging apps, ManyChat is at the forefront of helping businesses connect with these customers in a personalized and conversational way. The new funding will be used to hire across various operational roles including research and development, marketing, and customer success. Ethan Kurzweil, partner at Bessemer, will join the company’s board of directors and Bessemer partner, Alex Ferrara, will join as a board observer.
The company has grown substantially over the past year, tripling its customer acquisition between 2017 and 2018 and has over 1 million accounts created on the platform. Collectively, ManyChat’s customers have more than 350 million subscribers and over 7 billion messages are exchanged over ManyChat’s platform each month. Companies from a broad range of industries rely on ManyChat including e-commerce, online services, and education as well as more traditional businesses such as retailers, gyms, beauty salons, and restaurants among various others.
ManyChat’s mission is to enable small business growth by helping businesses replace traditional and tired channels, like email and web forms, with a more conversational approach to customer engagement. ManyChat delivers a smart blend of automation and personal outreach over Messenger. On average, businesses using ManyChat experience an 80 percent open rate on their messages, as opposed to the average email open rate which hovers around 20 percent.
“Over 2 billion people are now using messaging apps and for most of them, it has become the default way to connect with each other. This is a massive shift in consumer behavior, yet business-to-customer communication seems stuck in the past,” said Mikael Yang, ManyChat co-founder and CEO. “Our mission is to be a champion to small businesses and to help them grow by building meaningful relationships with their customers. We believe that messaging apps is the most effective way to do that today.”
ManyChat is designed and priced for any business owner to use. Building automated conversations and marketing campaigns on the platform is free and simple and can be launched in a few hours.