Korea gets new unicorn startup as Sendbird joins the billion-dollar club with latest funding 

Korean Chat API startup Sendbird announced that it has raised $100 million in Series C funding and the makes the company’s valuation to $1.05 billion. Sendbird is now one of the 12 unicorn startups based out of South Korea. Sendbird provides an array of interactive services, chat, video, etc. to companies like Hinge, Paytm, Delivery Hero, Reddit. With the latest funding the company plans to expand more and upgrade its interactive services. 

New investors join previous backers

The Series C funding was oversubscribed, led by Steadfast Financial, with SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 Emergence Capital, World Innovation Lab and previous backers ICONIQ Capital, Tiger Global Management and Meritech Capital also participating. Sendbird had raised $102 million Series B round in 2019.

Talking about the latest funding, CEO John S. Kim said in a statement, “One of our core values is endless tenacity for customers and this funding will only strengthen our ability to serve our customers and create value for their businesses. We will do so in the form of innovation in our products and services, but also through greater investments in value-added partnerships, customer support, technical onboarding, and documentation.

The most scalable Chait-API in the world 

Sendbird has 150 million users sending over 2.5 billion messages on the through its platform every month across the globe. Founded by John S. Kim, Brandon Jeon, Harry Kim, Forest Lee, SendBird’s core technology – a messaging software development kit enables companies to easily mount chat functionality on their apps, websites, and games. The SendBird platform is becoming one of the most scalable chat-API globally and it has been innovating its services to suit the demands of the digital world. 

In 2020, Sendbird had launched several new products; Sendbird Calls, API and SDKs to create voice and video interactions, Sendbird UIKit, a ready-to-go configurable user interface that allows customers to embed a best-in-class messaging experience into their apps with just a few lines of code. The startup also introduced a new self-service product offering to simplify the buying process, and launched a free trial offering for developers. The company also hired aggressively and doubled its presence in Europe and Singapore. 

New multi-party voice call addition to the app

In May 2021, Sendbird introduced a multi-party audio and video calls to its app. Sendbird Calls is an API that builds high-quality in-app calling capabilities. Previously, only 1:1 calls were supported, but with this update, multi-party voice and video calling functions have been added, enabling a wider variety of digital communication channels to be built on the web and mobile apps.

Dongshin Kim, CEO of Sendbird, said, “The Club House app has fascinated users with a vivid digital social experience that is like having an offline conversation, and users’ expectations for this intimate digital exchange are gradually increasing.” He added, “With Sendbird’s group call API, anyone can create an app like a Club House with just a few lines of simple coding. Even if it is not a social app, if communication between users who use the app is activated through various in-app chat functions, it is possible to increase the service usage time and reduce the app churn rate.”

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