Stream raises $38M as its chat and activity feed APIs power communications for 1B users – TechCrunch

These days a lot of our communication with each other is digital, and today it is one of the enabling companies – with APIs to create chat experiences in apps – declaring a round of funding behind some very strong developments Used to be.

section, Which lets developers create chats and activity streams in apps and other services through a few lines of code, has raised $ 38 million, funding that it will continue to build on its existing business as well as work on new features.

The stream started with an API for activity feeds, and then it expanded to chat, which can be integrated into applications built on different platforms today. Currently, its customers integrate third-party chatbots and use Dolby for video and audio within the stream, but over time, these are all areas where the streams themselves want to do more.

“End-to-end encryption, chatbots: we want to have as many components as we can take,” said Thierry Schellenbach, CEO, who co-founded the startup with Tomaso Barbugli, the startup’s CTO in Amsterdam in 2015 (the startup right now There is also a substantial team in Amsterdam led by Barbugli, but now headquartered in Boulder, Colorado (where Schlenbach eventually moved).

The company has already produced a list of notable customers, including the IKEA-owned Taskrabbit, NBC Sports, Unilever, Delivery Hero, Gojek, Etoro and Stanford University as well as many others that include health, education, finance, There are no disclosures in finance, virtual events, dating, gaming and social. Together, the application stream powers cover more than 1 billion users.

This Series B round is being led by Aydin Senkut of Felice Ventures, with previous backers GGV Capital and 01 Advisors (former CEO and COO of Twitter, co-founded by Dick Costolo and Adam Bain) also participating.

Along with him, a mix of past and new personal and small investors also participated: Olivier Pommel, CEO of Datdog; Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder of GithHub; Amsterdam-based Knight Capital; Johnny Bufferhat, founder and CEO of Hopin; And Sellcock Attlee, co-founder and CEO of social gaming app Bunch (himself a notable $ 20 million round led by General Catalyst not long ago).

This list is a notable indicator of what types of startups are also working quietly along the stream.

The company is not disclosing its valuation, but said C.In 2020 cap revenue increased by 500%.

In fact, Series B speaks of a moment of opportunity: it’s coming about six months after the startup wakes up $ 15 million Series A, And really didn’t want to pick up the stream yet.

“We were not planning to raise funds until the end of this year, but then Aydin reached out to us and he worked hard without telling anyone,” Schellenbach said.

“More than anything else, they are building on platforms in technology that matters,” Senkut said in an interview, noting that its users were present for a strong return on investment. “It is rare to see a product very important to customers and scaling well. This is just uncapped capacity… and we want to be a part of the story. “

That moment of opportunity is not one that the stream is playing on its own.

Among the many players in the world of API-based communication services, some are more important such as messaging, activity streams – those aggregated updates you get in apps that let you know when people have responded to your posts or new content has landed Relevant to you, or that you have a message, and so on – and chat includes SendBird, Agora, PubNub, Twilio and Sinch, all of which have raised enough money in a variety of ways, much traction with customers Have found, or seen themselves as having the condition. Consolidators.

It can talk of competition, but it also points to the huge market there for exploitation.

Actually, one of the companies like Stream is doing very well right now because they have built it and there is market demand for it.

Communication services like Stream can be the best, what companies like Aiden (another major tech force out of Amsterdam), Stripe, Rapid, Mambo and others are doing in the world of fintech.

With something like payback, the mechanics of building, for example, chat functionality can be complex, usually requiring the simultaneous weaving of services and platforms that do not inherently talk to each other.

At the same time, something like an activity feed or messaging feature is central to many apps, even if they are not the main feature of the product. A good example of how food ordering and delivery apps work: they are not by their nature “chat apps”, but they do have chat options for when you need to communicate with a driver or restaurant. needed.

Putting those forces together, it is very logical that we will see the emergence of many technology companies that have done the difficult job of making both of them accessible as an API, say, a chat service, and access to it. For those who want to use it, APIs are one of the more central and standard building blocks in apps today; And a surge of developers are eager to get their hands on those APIs to build that functionality into their applications.

What Stream is working on should not be confused with customer-service focused services that companies like Zendesk or Intercom are building when they talk about chat for apps. They can in themselves be distinctive features that link with CRM systems and customer services teams and marketing analytics and other products. Instead, the focus of the stream is services for consumers to talk to other consumers.

There is a trend to see if easy-to-integrate services like Stream can signal the proliferation of more social apps over time.

Already having at least one major customer – which I am now allowed to name – it is a fast growing, still young social app, that has built its service core on the stream’s API.

With only a handful of companies – led by Facebook, but including ByteDance / Tickcock, Tencent, Twitter, Snap, Google (via YouTube) and a few others depending on the region – on social interaction, easy, platform-agnostic. Keep an outer grip. Access to key communication tools such as chat can potentially help them more, takes on various “social” business models, finding their way in the world.

section“A common problem in product development is solved by offering an easy-to-integrate and scalable messaging solution,” Dick Costolo and former Twitter CEO of 01 Advisors said in a statement. “Furthermore, his team and clear vision have set him apart, and we carry out our mission.”

Updated to correct that revenue growth is not related to valuation figures.