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MessageBird raises largest Series C in Europe at $1B, Twilio rival acquires US-based SparkPost

Image credits: MessageBird

As a part of its move towards IPO, MessageBird, the Amsterdam-based cloud communication unicorn, has announced the acquisition of US-based SparkPost — which claims to be the world’s largest, first and only predictive email intelligence platform. 

The deal values SparkPost at $600 million (approx £432 million), and the transaction is expected to close in Q2. It is worth noting that MessageBird acquired London-based notification startup Pusher for £26M last year. 

Raises $1 billion

On the other hand, the Dutch company has raised an extended $1 billion (approx £720 million) funding in Series C round, valuing the company around $3.8 billion (approx £2.7 billion). The funding comes from Eurazeo, Tiger Global, Owl Rock, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with participation from all existing investors including London’s Atomico. As a part of the round, Nathalie Kornhoff-Brüls from Eurazeo will also join the MessageBird board.

Notably, this is the largest Series C round in Europe to date and the second largest on either side of the Atlantic.

Based out of Columbia, SparkPost helps senders reliably reach the inbox with powerful solutions to help them plan, execute and optimise their email programs. It provides a cloud API solution that enables applications and websites to send and receive emails. The US company is the world’s largest sender sending 4-5 trillion sends annually.  

 The company also boasts the world’s largest data footprint to help enterprise-level brands make data-driven decisions to improve their email performance. 

Why this acquisition?

MessageBird aims to build a global omnichannel platform to make communicating with a business as easy and natural as talking to your friends. Founded by Adriaan Mol, and Robert Vis in 2011, MessageBird lets companies add a few lines of code to their app or website so customers can text, email, or call in with questions. 

Options for customers include out-of-the-box “lego blocks” solutions – such as customer service-focused Inbox, marcomms tool Campaign Builder, and Video for physical to digital – as well as a full API suite for developer teams.

Channels that customers can access via the platform already include Live-chat, Video, SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google Business Messages, Apple Business Chat, Voice, Messenger, WeChat, RCS, Line, and Telegram.

While email remains the largest business communication channel by volume, this acquisition will bring the industry’s most trusted email sending and deliverability platform into this already extensive suite.

“The future of communications isn’t siloed — it’s omnichannel,” said Robert Vis, CEO of MessageBird. “Our acquisition of SparkPost will further strengthen our ability to serve customers through email as a powerful value channel, and with the most contextual, relevant information. We’re also enthusiastic to expand our global business into the US market and leverage the acquisition as a logical and exciting next step in our mission to be the leading platform of choice for businesses to communicate with their customers on any channel, globally.” 

“By joining forces with MessageBird, we will be able to bring broader, deeper value to all of our customers through any digital communications channel,” said Rich Harris, CEO of SparkPost. “Our companies are a great cultural fit, having both built teams that pride themselves on serving the enterprise and helping customers craft compelling, flexible solutions to challenging business problems.”

“Eurazeo is proud to back Robert and the team,” said Nathalie Kornhoff-Brüls, Managing Director at Eurazeo Growth. “MessageBird continues to revolutionise communication between businesses and their customers with an uncompromising focus on quality. With the success of the new Inbox and workflow automation tools and now the acquisition of SparkPost, we see MessageBird at an inflection point, further strengthening its position as the world’s leading omnichannel platform-as-a-service.”