Nexmo Inc., a cloud-based communication service, raised $18 million in a funding round that values it at more than $100 million as the company rides rising demand for text-messaging applications.
The financing was led by private equity fund Sorenson Capital and existing investors including Intel Capital, said Nexmo Chief Executive Officer Tony Jamous. The money will be used to expand staff globally and to boost the product lineup of the San Francisco-based company, he said, adding that Nexmo’s total capital raised now stands at about $22 million.
The ecosystem around messaging startups has boomed as mobile-phone customers worldwide increasingly use third-party applications to send text, pictures and videos to friends. Nexmo’s customers include popular software providers that let people message on mobile devices, such as KakaoTalk and Line, along with e-commerce companies such as Airbnb.
“We’ve been growing very rapidly with a very small team,” Jamous said. “We’ve built the model.”
Nexmo, which also enables voice communications, has about 40 employees and should expand to nearly 100 by the end of the year, he said. Sales are expected to at least double after more than quadrupling last year. The company didn’t provide specific numbers.
Nexmo said it provides simple software tools that connect applications to wireless carriers and phones, giving access to more than 200 countries. For customers, this eliminates the time and cost of working with various networks on an individual basis. Nexmo takes a cut of the fee paid to carriers for network access. The company’s services include security tools and marketing features for customers.