Montreal-based enterprise B2C chat app Smooch has raised a C$10 million seed round, led by Real Ventures and iNovia Capital, with participation from TA Associates and Smooch’s founders.
Smooch’s messaging platform, Smooch Conversation Cloud, allows businesses to engage with consumers by integrating chat into mobile and web interfaces.
Smooch will use the financing to expand support for consumer messaging channels and business software vendors, and go on a bit of a hiring spree, adding more than 20 new employees to its San Francisco and Montreal offices in the senior sales, product marketing, and engineering departments.
“Smooch is the first messaging company to offer B2Cs a fast, cost effective infrastructure to offer and scale messaging,” said iNovia Capital Managing Partner Chris Arsenault. “This emerging market presents a huge opportunity to make an impact on how consumers interact with their favorite brands.”
In June, Smooch added the ability to transfer and sync conversations started in its live chat client, the little pop-up chat box frequently seen in the lower right corner of business websites, between various platforms including Facebook Messenger, Line, WeChat, Kik, Telegram, or Twilio.
“Beyond making it easy for businesses to have rich conversations with their customers, Smooch provides a 360-degree view of all conversations with their customers, creating a more human relationship,” wrote CEO Hamnet Hill. “This financing will support our ongoing investments in our team and partnerships, so we can help even more companies reach more customers on more messaging platforms, with more compelling experiences.”
Smooch was spun out of Radialpoint SafeCare, which was acquired by San Francisco’s AppDirect this past January, a San Francisco company run by Montreal-born Daniel Saks and Nicolas Desmarais.
In 2008, current Smooch investors TA Associates invested approximately $100 million in Radialpoint.
Radialpoint co-founder and CEO Hamnett Hill had been working on Smooch within Radialpoint for about a year before the AppDirect acquisition.
“Backed by some of the investors and owners of Radialpoint including myself, and the rest of the co-founding team, we started Smooch.io, a new company to meet that demand, and completely focus on helping businesses and consumers communicate and conduct business over messaging,” wrote Hill.
Hill is the brother of Austin Hill, now with Blockstream, who also co-founded Radialpoint.
Radialpoint was founded in 1997, eventually growing its client base to 20 million consumers, mostly vendors and IT help desks, to improve customer experience and expedite product adoption.
Radialpoint continues to function as a subsidiary of AppDirect from its headquarters in Montreal, led by president and CEO Warren Levitan.