Customer.io Raised our Series A
Startups often raise a lot of capital early. Large fundraising rounds shorten the time you have to thoughtfully build your business. In 2017, I talked about our approach, fundstrapping which still represents how we’re building the business today.
We have taken the time to do things right and Customer.io is ready to scale
In subscription software (SaaS) businesses, if you can keep the lights on, time can be your friend.
- Time helps you figure out scaling issues a few years in when your largest customers start leaving because your performance is no longer good enough.
- Time helps you address product issues from first principles rather than doing quick fix after quick fix.
- Time helps you figure out scalable repeatable growth – something we were chasing for years before we got there.
Over 10 years in business, we’ve made a lot of mistakes. Taking the time to correct mistakes led to stronger product market fit, a deeper understanding of our customers, and greater confidence in our long term vision.
As a result the business accelerated without using external capital. Customer.io ended 2021 profitable for the year with annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $29.9m, up 78% from a year ago.
Accelerating our pace of innovation is how we will win for customers
We’ve always tried to make decisions that are in the best interest of our customers and partners. When most companies reach critical mass, they stop innovating and choose instead to extract more from their customers relative to the value they provide. We’ve done the opposite. We increased our pace of innovation so that we can give more to our customers every day.
The focus on innovation over extraction is what makes Customer.io an interesting place to work as well as a great company to bet on as a customer*.
Customer Engagement is a large opportunity we’re uniquely positioned to go after
Our customers have big ideas for how we can better serve them. For example, based on customer feedback, we recently added Shortcuts to link into the same customer profile in their other services. Customer.io is the first place many of our customers go to understand what someone is doing in their product and what messages that person has received.
Based on feedback from customers and our understanding of where the market is going, we created a new vision for what we’ll be for our customers in 2030. This vision increases the surface area of our Customer Engagement Platform and leans into helping businesses use their first party data to power product led growth. Now is the time to add some fuel.
We Raised a Series A round of financing from Spectrum Equity
To increase the odds we’ll keep delivering for our customers, we’re adding both expertise and capital through a Series A round from Spectrum Equity with participation from Oregon Venture Fund. Pete Jensen, Managing Director at Spectrum Equity joins our board.
I chose Spectrum Equity because they showed me they understood the nuance of our business and are proven partners of founder led businesses. They helped us create a deal that was right-sized for Customer.io and supports my focus on creating long term value for all stakeholders. I’m thrilled we found a great match to join us on the next part of our journey.
“Colin and team have consistently taken the long term approach to company building by being focused on product and customer experience over the last ten years. During that time they also have built a very successful hybrid self serve and sales assisted model which allows frictionless onboarding and an ability to seamlessly grow along with their customers.
We have seen first hand how Customer.io has enabled their users to be more product centric in their growth and to unlock the value of their first party data to drive meaningful customer interactions.”
– Pete Jensen, Managing Director Spectrum Equity
We’re investing across the board — more heavily in marketing and engineering
Today our team has 165 people worldwide. We’re planning to end 2022 with over 250 people on the team as we continue to grow across geographies and time zones. Please help us paint the map purple!
We’re doubling our product and engineering teams this year. Last year we built a team focused on Mobile Push notifications. After releasing our iOS and Android SDKs in January, Mobile Push is second only to email in volume and our fastest growing channel.
We’re also (unfortunately) still the “best kept secret in marketing tech”. We’re scaling up our marketing efforts to address that. There is a massive community of 30,000 expert marketers using Customer.io and we want to better connect everyone both in real life and virtually. Our Customer Advisory Board connects a small group today and we can’t wait to create more opportunities to interact.
This is just the beginning
Customer.io has a uniquely large opportunity to serve our customers who might be at the earliest stage of their life to being a publicly traded company. It has been a privilege to be on this journey with many customers who have been with us since the beginning and many long tenured team members as well.
Even after 10 years, we’re just getting started. Let’s go!