B2B marketing software company ManyChat has this week raised $18M in its Series A round. The software startup is focused on creating bots for companies to market via Facebook Messenger. With a self-reported 1 million accounts on the platform ranging numerous industries, ManyChat’s funding demonstrates the rise of Facebook as a growing B2B marketing tool. Bessemer Venture Partners led the funding round, securing two board seats.
In SaaS news this week, the Spring edition of SaaS Mag has shipped! This issue centers on the theme of Scaling in 2019. It’s packed with interviews and articles by industry insiders like ConvertKit Founder Nathan Barry and Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova, as well as our Top 50 Startups and SaaS 1000 List. Click here to get your free copy.
The e-commerce world this week saw Amazon launch a marketplace in the Middle East, Amazon.ae, by re-branding Souq, the popular Middle Eastern marketplace which Amazon acquired two years ago. This comes as part of Amazon’s strategy to increase growth in international sales. The platform will have more than 30 million products available, including all products from Souq, along with 5 million from the Amazon US marketplace.
New in listings this week we have a well-known $1.35M B2B Digital Marketing and SEO business, monetized via a recurring subscription model. The business has achieved impressive revenue growth of 97.3% CAGR for the period 2016 to 2018, wide-market acceptance with a strong social following and features in numerous reputable publications, well-developed procedures and partnerships with third-party service providers. If you are interested in this business, please follow the link to request a prospectus.
In events news, the FE Team is currently attending FemtoConf in Darmstadt, Germany which starts today and run through the weekend. Our expert M&A advisor Jaimee Gilbertson will be speaking on Building a Successful Exit Strategy for Software Companies. Next up, Founder Thomas Smale will be speaking at Resonate by Seller Labs (May 7-8) in Atlanta, Georgia on Managing Cashflow, Books and Preparing Your Business for Sale. Make sure to reply to this email to set up a meeting if you will be in attendance or happen to be close by to either event!
Continue reading below for more new listings, as well as expanded stories on ManyChat’s Series A round of funding and Amazon’s launch in the Middle East.
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• Authoritative and trusted site with nearly two decades of operational history
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Display Advertising – Food & Recipes – $1.5K gross/mo
In The News…
ManyChat Raises $18 million in Series A
B2B marketing software comapny ManyChat has this week raised $18 million in their Series A round of funding.
This innovative startup was founded by the CEO, Mikael Yang in 2015 and focuses on marketing bots for Facebook Messenger. Offering tools to help businesses create an automated responder on Facebook Messenger, the platform supports livechat with a real person as well. According to ManyChat, this approach is a “smart blend of automation and personal outreach” and exists alongside the option to advertise with the aim of driving messaging engagement. ManyChat is not the only business geared towards building Facebook Messenger bots, but the company itself has (self-reported) more than 1 million accounts on the platform. Together, ManyChat’s clients comprise 350 million Messenger subscribers, sending 7 billion messages on the platform each month with average open rate of 80%.
Bessemer’s Ethan Kurzweil, who is joining the board of directors, indicated that Instagram, WhatsApp, RCS, and others are in ManyChat’s future.
Amazon Launches Middle East Marketplace
This week, Amazon launched a Middle East marketplace, which included a rebrand of the Dubai-based e-commerce platform Souq.com, which Amazon acquired for $580 million two years ago.
Souq.com will fall under the newly launched umbrella of Amazon.ae, and automatically redirects everywhere except Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In a letter posted on the new Marketplace, Amazon officially announced the move by saying, “We are proud to announce that we are now Amazon.ae”. International sales growth had recently been slowing for Amazon; in the most recently reported-on quarter, international sales posted were $16.2 billion, or a 9% increase from last year. This rebrand, however, which provides Amazon with a more unified image in the region, will likely help Amazon grow their presence in the Middle East, which until now had only been leveraged through Souq.
Amazon.ae will have the same seller back-end system as its US platform, and will offer access to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).