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Clickatell snags $91M to disrupt the $80 billion global chat commerce and expand its footprint into the US market | Tech News | Startups News

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We now live in a digital world where billions of people around the world, including people in remote places, use chat apps to communicate with one another. Billions of people now use some form of chat several times a day, making chat the largest digital engagement channel in the world, with a total addressable market estimated to be worth $80 billion.

Today, chat is the largest digital platform in the world, with 7.7 billion users compared to 4.7 billion internet users, making it next to impossible for businesses to operate without communicating and transacting with consumers in chat channels. Clickatell is a global leader in the mobile communications and chat commerce space, with footprints spanning from Africa to Europe.

Today, the Sequoia-backed Clickatell announced it has raised $91 million in a Series C funding round to scale its chat platform and expand into the US market. The round was led by Arrowroot Capital, with participation from Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, Endeavor Global, and Harvest.

Clickatell will also use the funding to accelerate the development and innovation of its Chat Commerce offering, and scale its sales and marketing efforts on the back of growing demand from leading brands.

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Founded in South Africa in 2000 by CEO Pieter de Villiers, Casper de Villiers, Danie Du Toit, and Patrick Lawson, Clickatell helps businesses communicate with their customers via mobile messaging platforms. Today, Clickatell serves over 10,000 customers, many of which are Fortune 500 companies and leading global brands activating their own digital commerce transformations. Clickatell is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, and has offices in Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria.

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In recent years, Clickatell’s platform has been recognized as a global leader in powering mobile messaging / CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) and payments within chat. Clickatell processed more than 30 billion interactions, and 2 billion commerce transactions during the COVID-19 period alone as it enabled customer-centric brands to connect, interact and transact with their customers wherever they were sheltering in place during the pandemic.

Late last year, Clickatell launched Chat2Pay in partnership with Visa’s fraud management platform, Cybersource. Chat2Pay tool lets customers deliver a new way to accept payments from your customers, by using chat messaging rather than having them disclose credit card details over the phone or having to use a point-of-sale device.

Clickatell boasts an industry-first ability to combine communication and commerce in one comprehensive Chat Commerce proposition and introduced one of the world’s first chat banking solutions on WhatsApp, the world’s largest chat platform.

“Chat Commerce is the future of digital commerce and engagement – it’s already happening at scale in markets such as China — and soon every consumer in the US will engage family and friends via chat plus connect, interact and transact with the brands they love through their favorite chat platform; and we are excited to be a leader in this digital engagement revolution,” said Pieter de Villiers, Co-Founder and CEO at Clickatell. “We believe brands want to avoid placing their customers on hold and it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to download their apps; Clickatell’s Chat Commerce platform enables brands to serve their customers where they are, in the chat platform they already use.”

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