Send Word Now raises $8.5m in series C funding
NEW YORK--Send Word Now, an on-demand alerting and response services company, this week announced it raised $8.5 million in series C funding. The money will be used to expand its services platform, and increase its sales and marketing team, said Tom Shoemaker, the company's president and CEO.
Specifically, Shoemaker said, Send Word Now will bulk up its instant messaging and text messaging packages. The Virginia Tech shooting in April has led to a rise in colleges and universities using alert messaging systems, he said, with text messaging as the most common modality.
"As we move into 2008, we see considerable growth and traffic in text messaging services," Shoemaker said. "My generation uses e-mail and voice to communicate, but my children's generation and much of Europe are using text messaging as the main mode for communications."
The company will also expand into vertical markets where alerts and responses are integrated into everyday business processes, he said, and will add more vendors and carriers of its products.
"We've seen considerable demand in our services as we grow domestically with colleges and universities, but we are beginning to see demand from our corporate customers who are interested in sending messages internationally," Shoemaker said. "We think our plans will help meet that demand."
In July, Send Word Now began helping those clients send messages internationally when it announced a partnership with iJet that enables its corporate security directors to communicate with employees abroad.
The company plans to build more partnerships in 2008. That, combined with the current funding, will allow it to add to its list of 300 clients while staying ahead of the market trend, Shoemaker said.
"We've seen that the market is picking up," Shoemaker said. "We see that customers who are using us already are beginning to use us in greater volume. We're adding robustness and it's always good to add those capabilities because if you have one more customer, you have to meet their needs."
Many of Send Word Now's existing investors, including Ascend Venture Group and Southpaw Asset Management, invested in this round. That shows investor confidence is strong, Shoemaker said.
"We're happy because we've been able to keep our investors happy," he said. "We've been able to keep them participating, which means we can continue to watch the firm grow."