Connectly, an AI startup helping businesses reach customers via messaging apps, is seeking to raise $15 million in Series A funding.
The company was founded by CEO Stefanos Loukakos, former director and head of Meta's messenger and blockchain businesses, and CTO Yandong Liu, ex- Strava CTO and Uber engineer.
Connectly raised $4 million in seed funding in February 2021. Investors included firms Unusual Ventures, Marathon Venture Capital and Global Founders Capital.
Loukakos said brands are increasingly turning to messaging as a quick and effective way to reach consumers, fueled in part by the pandemic which gave rise to messaging as a means for consumers to interact with companies. He said messaging apps are also in turn getting more advanced, with options now to make phone and video calls and send documents.
Connectly primarily serves Meta's WhatsApp but also integrates with text messages, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. It deciphers incoming messages from customers and then allows businesses to respond in one place.
Loukakos said Connectly is unique in that it allows for a two-way conversation between businesses and customers via messaging.
"The majority of texts are one way," he said. "We have cases where businesses are sending customer satisfaction surveys and, based on responses, sending them offers more personal to them."
Connectly is completely remote and now up to 15 employees with plans to hire another 10 employees in the next couple of months. Most of its business comes from Latin America, but Loukakos hopes to expand in the US.
Here's the pitch deck Connectly is using to attract investors and grow its business.
Connectly promotes itself as "the most intelligent platform for message-based marketing."
It's recruiting from companies like Meta, Google, Uber and Amazon.
The platform says 65% of people between the ages of 18 and 37 reported that a mobile app or wallet for checkout influences where they shop.
Connectly claims its edge is in being able to decipher customers' messages to provide for two-way communication between company and consumer.
Connectly promotes its ability to serve personalized ads in a cookie-less world based on consumer data it collects.
Connectly says the customer communications solutions space is set to grow by 30% each year between 2022 and 2025.
The company shows how brands can interact with customers across several apps on one dashboard.
Connectly shows how it targets consumers with campaigns.
Connectly says it helps businesses prioritize and take action on customer messages.
The company says its clients are primarily from ecommerce, fintech, travel and healthcare.
Connectly says its customers come from commerce, fintech, and consumer goods.
Treinta, a startup that is helping Latin American companies digitally transform their businesses, got 60% click-through rates and 80% read rates using Connectly, the company says.
In another case study, digital health solutions company Isa is using Connectly to send five campaigns a day and nearly 2,000 messages a week, with a 60% customer response rate.
Connectly says its pricing runs as low as $2,000 and as high as $200,000 depending on the size of the client and how much management it wants from the platform.
Connectly says it's working on more advanced automation and cross-channel customer identity tools.