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Malaysia-based Respond.io helps businesses navigate multiple messaging apps • TechCrunch

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Multiple messaging apps are in use in Southeast Asia, and most consumers prefer using them via email when contacting businesses. Respond.io serves as a central dashboard for the biggest apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber, Telegram, WeChat. The Malaysia-based company today announced it has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Headline, with participation from AltaIR Capital, Smart Partnership Capital, Sterling Oak Group and Calendula Ventures.

Respond.io is currently used by over 10,000 companies including Klook, Decathlon, Abenson, Yoho, Roche, ShareChat, Bigo and more.

Handling over 140 million messages each month, Respond.io’s dashboard consolidates all messages your company receives and makes sure the right people see them. It also includes marketing, sales, and support tools that enable automated workflows such as building chat menus, drip campaigns, internal pipelines, and calling external actions. One advantage of using a central dashboard is that managers can quickly see if a conversation has been interrupted and resume it.

Since the last funding round in January 2020, Respond.io’s revenue has grown 25x. Its latest funding will be used to continue to attract large companies by adding to its suite of integrated capabilities and expanding beyond Asia into the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

Respond.io was started in 2017 by Gerardo Salandra, Hassan Ahmed, and Iaroslav Kudritskiy and serves as an omnichannel messaging inbox. Its product-first strategy means that Respond.io uses customer feedback to develop the platform. With a public roadmap and hundreds of customers able to vote on the features they want, Respond.io helps prioritize deployments.

For example, we recently localized Respond.io into Spanish. This is because around 30% of the company’s customers are in Spanish-speaking countries, and many voted to make the platform available in Spanish.

Another example is the Contact Merge tool. Customers often messaged through multiple channels, which meant chats were spread across different profiles on the platform, Salandra said. The Contact Merge tool uses algorithms to identify repeaters, even if they start using a different channel for their messages.

Prior to founding Respond.io, he worked for software companies such as Runtastic (acquired by Adidas), Google and IBM. He said that marketing software such as Hubspot and Salesforce are primarily focused on email, and that instant he offers little support for messaging, even though many customers prefer using instant messaging. I noticed you didn’t.

At Runtastic, Salandra told TechCrunch: As a consumer, I knew I was in their shoes.

Salandra found the market for business instant messaging, filling the gap left by marketing software like Hubspot and Salesforce.

When Respond.io was created, most messaging apps didn’t yet have an API. The only channel I could connect to was Telegram. “But we were 100 percent confident that this would change,” said Sarandra. “We just need a proof of concept.” So the team reverse-engineered a popular messaging app that didn’t have an API to connect to Respond.io’s platform, and sold it as a solution to early customers, including large conglomerates. Did. Later, as messaging channels started launching APIs, Respond.io integrated with them.

Respond.io’s competitors include MessageBird, SleekFlow, Trengo, Verloop and Callbell. All of these combine messages from different channels into one dashboard. According to Sarandora, Respond.io is differentiated by its product-driven growth strategy and content his leadership. “They tend to be more sales-driven, but we focused on product and content. We don’t copy existing solutions or sell run-of-the-mill products.”

Salandra also mentioned his company’s pricing structure. Instead of charging per user or per seat, we launched Monthly Active Contacts (MAC), so clients are only charged for the contacts they call.

Headline partner Akio Tanaka said in a prepared statement: We recognize the enormous potential behind the Respond.io technology and are proud to support our clients and teams in transforming their communications across industries.

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