Salesforce-Backed SMS Engagement Platform Community Nabs $25M After Rapid Growth

SMS engagement platform Community has announced that it has raised $25 million in funding. The investment comes from a mix of existing investors like Salesforce Ventures, as well as new investors such as HubSpot, Verizon Ventures, GSW Ventures, Backstage Capital, and others.

Founded in 2019, Community, which is co-founded by Guy Oseary, Ashton Kutcher, and Josh Rosenheck, has been changing the way celebrities, musicians, and cultural pioneers engage with their audiences through text messages since 2019. The company provides a unique 10-digit number that allows for a customized SMS experience, free from social media algorithms, spam, and advertisements, focusing on personalization and conversation for the customer.

“The impact that Community's platform can have on the way brands, businesses, and public figures engage with their audience - is next level. Our customers have the ability to hyper personalize conversations with their audiences in a way that is authentic and efficient. Audiences feel like they are being listened to for the first time – and that’s because they are. This is the value we add to the engagement landscape. This is the power of Community," said Diankha Linear, CEO and President, Community.

Star-studded collaborations

Towards the end of 2021, Community began to target a more upscale market. Its customer base grew rapidly following successful collaborations with celebrities such as Kerry Washington, JLo, and small businesses like Kids of Immigrants and Rizos Curls. This success enabled the company to expand into the enterprise and Fortune 500 market, attracting clients like McDonald's. Presently, the company has expanded further to include sports teams such as the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Penguins. Community has also partnered with entertainment companies like Lionsgate and Showtime, music labels, and artists like Warner Music Group.

Community has appointed Diankha Linear as its new President and CEO to support the company's expansion into enterprise and beyond. Diankha was instrumental in bringing high-profile members such as Michelle Obama and The White House onto the platform. She also played a vital role in launching the Community Cares initiative, which aims to provide equitable access to the platform.

The company's user-friendly product, aided by AI technology, has proven highly effective, boasting impressive performance metrics such as a 98% open rate within the first 5 minutes, a 45% average click-through rate, and a 30% average response rate. The platform also offers convenient integrations with several popular products such as Salesforce, Shopify, Zapier, and ActBlue. Community is currently exploring the potential of generative AI, with plans to leverage it to further improve its product with various enhancements set to be released later this year. This funding round comes after a $40 million funding from Salesforce two years ago.