WizRocket, which helps companies increase user engagement by fine-tuning mobile, web, and e-mail notifications, has raised $8 million in new funding from Sequoia Capital and returning investor Accel Partners.
The Palo Alto-based startup will use its fresh capital to launch an API for developers and a new engagement platform. Along with a previous seed round from Accel, this brings WizRocket’s total raised so far to $9.6 million.
WizRocket tells TechCrunch that it has served over 350 customers, with its platform reaching more than 20 million unique visitors each week. Developers currently use a SDK to install its tools, which tailor notifications based on users’ demographic data and past interactions, and then analyzes campaigns to see if they actually work. WizRocket’s clients have included Freecharge, Disqus, Pricebaba, and Zovi.com.
As more consumers rely on their smartphones for everything from messaging to shopping, push notifications are turning into a “platform” of their own because many users depend on them to remember to check out an app instead of shifting through the dozens or even hundreds they might have on their device.
This is especially important because even though mobile users are spending more time per month in apps, the number of apps they engage with has changed very little over the past three years, suggesting that there is an upper limit to how many the average person is willing to install according to Nielsen.
Developers have to tread carefully, however, because a barrage of notifications might get their app deleted. As a result, several startups have sprung up to help developers create relevant messages.
A WizRocket spokesperson said its closest competitors are Urban Airship, Appboy, Localytics, and Kahuna, but that the company differentiates by “operating as a next generation mobile engagement platform with the industry’s largest free messaging tier offering. With code-level access for developers, it delivers the ability to achieve the highest level of customization, and the highest immediate value to marketers right out of the box.”