California-based startup ‘ManyChat’ has raised $18 million Series A funding for its Facebook Messenger marketing bot.
ManyChat Inc. is now the leading messenger marketing product, reportedly powering over 100,000 bots on Facebook Messenger.
ManyChat lets you use visual drag`n`drop interface to create a free Facebook Messenger bot for marketing, sales and support. The bot is essentially a Facebook Page that sends out messages and responds to users automatically.
The ManyChat bot allows you to welcome new users, send them content, schedule posts, set up keyword auto-responses (text, pictures, menus), automatically broadcast your RSS feed and more.
The bot, which is a blend of automation and personal outreach also incorporates Live Chat that notifies you when a conversation is needed with a subscriber.
ManyChat says it has focused on Facebook Messenger because it is the #1 app in the US and Canada with over 1 billion active users, and it is the most engaging channel with average 80% open rates and 4 to 10 times higher CTRs compared to email.
The $18 million funding for ManyChat was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Flint Capital, and means that Bessemer’s Ethan Kurzweil will be joining the board of directors, and Bessemer’s Alex Ferrara becomes a board observer.
1+ Million Accounts Created
ManyChat reports that more than 1 million accounts have been created on the platform already by customers in many different industry sectors. The platform has also reported that these 1+ million customers have managed to enlist 350 million Messenger subscribers and that there are now a staggering 7 billion messages sent on the platform each month.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Bots provide a way for businesses to reduce costs, make better use of resources and communicate with customers and enquirers 24/7.
As ManyChat points out, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to effectively reach their audience because people open less email and social media is ‘noisy’ to the point where messages become lost in the crowd. A key advantage of ManyChat, therefore, is that it uses Facebook Messenger as a private channel of communication with each user, it’s instant and interactive, no message is ever lost, and Messenger has huge user numbers. Other advantages that businesses will appreciate is that it’s free and easy to set up the bot (no coding skills are required), and it offers the best of both worlds of automated communications, and the option to jump in with Live Chat when it is needed.
This kind of bot could enable businesses and organisations to make their marketing more effective while maximising efficiency.
ManyChat is also good news for Facebook which owns Messenger as it appears to be boosting user numbers by finding an improved, business-focused use for the app.
For ManyChat, its Facebook Messenger bot appears to be only the beginning (hence the funding), with investors looking at platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, RCS, and more to further expand bot marketing services in the future.