Customer.io

Venture-Backed Marketing Automation Platform

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Company Information

Website:

https://customer.io

Sector:

Sales & Marketing Software

Location:

Portland, OR

These days, consumers want to feel listened to and appreciated. But for many, the customer-business relationship is impersonal, frustrating, and disconnected.

For small- and medium-sized companies, a great customer experience is often the difference between sustainable growth and going out of business. That’s why companies are placing increased importance on customer engagement solutions.

One of the leading startups in this fast-growing sector is Customer.io. This company has built a marketing automation platform that businesses use to engage with and retain customers.

In March 2021, this company crossed $20 million in annual recurring revenue. And it recently became profitable.

Customer.io is used by companies in nearly 100 countries, including Reddit, Asics, and Lemonade. And last year, more than 8 billion messages were sent through its platform. Customer.io has raised more than $3 million, and its investors include prominent venture funds Kima Ventures, Oregon Venture Fund, Techstars, and Box Group. Fabrice Grinda, an early investor in Airbnb, Alibaba, and FanDuel, is also an investor in this company.

By 2027, marketing automation is projected to be a $47 billion market. But this market is mostly filled with what are known as “point solution” software platforms.

Point solution software is designed to address a specific task, or point. For example, a hotel chain may use room-booking software, or an IT company may use helpdesk software.

The problem is that companies often need multiple point solution platforms. And these platforms not only create more expenses, but they also create a disconnected experience for consumers.

Customer.io, in contrast, is designed as a customer engagement platform. This means it can take care of customers’ needs across a company’s entire business — not just a single point.

With Customer.io, companies can design and send relevant communications to their customers. This communication can come from e-mail, text messages, or social media channels. Companies can communicate with customers for purposes including customer feedback, upselling, engagement, onboarding, and renewals.

In addition, Customer.io enables businesses to keep profiles of consumers, with helpful data such as a customer’s spending habits or demographic information. This information enables businesses to spend more time making strategic, data-driven decisions.

Customer.io offers its platform through subscriptions. The basic plan starts at $1,800 per year, and the premium plan starts at $12,000 per year. The premium subscription includes a 90-day onboarding program, premium technical support, and a dedicated customer success manager.

Customer.io spends $2,900 to acquire each customer, and each one’s lifetime value is $26,000. Customer.io recoups the customer acquisition costs in less than a year.

With funds raised, Customer.io will continue development on additional features. These include enabling mobile app developers to start using its marketing tools and streamlining customer data that comes from different sources (e.g., e-mails, online purchases) to be presented on a single dashboard.

Team Background

Colin Nederkoorn - Co-Founder & CEO

Colin began his career as an analyst with Morgan Stanley, a financial services company. From there, he founded Onmac.net, a software development business.

More recently, he was a product manager with LendingTree, an online lending marketplace with a nearly $3 billion market cap. After that, he was Head of Product with ChallengePost, an internet services company.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

John Allison - Co-Founder & CTO

John began his career in software development, working as a programmer for iProv, a marketing software business, and then Acxiom, an IT services company.

From there, he was a contractor with IBM and Ruckus Wireless, then became a software engineer with Gilt Group, an internet services company. He then became Head of Engineering with ChallengePost, another internet services company, where he met Colin. The two decided to start Customer.io shortly after.

John earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Ouachita Baptist University.

Jon Hawkins - Chief Marketing Officer

Prior to joining Customer.io, Jon was Vice President of Growth with Time, a media business that owns more than 100 magazine brands, including Time, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, Fortune, and InStyle.

Before that, he was Head of Analytics for XO Group, an online media company. He held this role after serving as a senior manager in product marketing with Empowered Media. He began his career as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he earned a degree in Computer Science.

Co-Investors

BoxGroup

A venture capital group investing in early-stage technology companies. Portfolio includes Oscar Health, Boxed, and Blue Apron.

Fabrice Grinda

Angel Investor in over 150 startups, including SeatGeek, Boxed, Alibaba, FanDuel, & Betterment

FJ Labs

A VC firm investing in consumer-facing startups whose portfolio includes Uber, AdoreMe, and FanDuel.

Kima Ventures

Seed-stage fund, investor in Lyft

Oregon Venture Fund

A venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies. Portfolio includes AWS Elemental, Notion, and Meridian.

Seven Peaks Ventures

A venture capital fund investing in early-stage software businesses. Portfolio includes Vungle, Cozy, and Kindara.

TechStars

Prominent accelerator for tech companies. Investments include Uber, ClassPass and Twilio.

Raising
$5 million
Committed
$4.84 million (97%)
Current Valuation
$400 million Cap / 0% Discount
Min. Investment
$100
Deal Type
Title III
(For all investors)
Offering Type
SAFE
Finance History
  • $250K
    2012-05-17
    Unknown
    (Pre-Seed)
  • $150K
    2013-01-15
    Unknown
    (Seed)
  • $2.90 million
    2017-03-24
    Oregon Venture Fund
    (Seed)
Notable Investors
  • BoxGroup
  • Fabrice Grinda
  • FJ Labs
  • Kima Ventures
  • Oregon Venture Fund
  • Seven Peaks Ventures
  • TechStars
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