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Sinch launches worldwide API for business messaging through Instagram, buys MessageMedia to target SMEs…

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Sinch, a global leader in cloud communications for mobile customer engagement, has upped the messaging ante with the worldwide launch of an API for business messaging through Instagram.

The Messenger API for Instagram enables brands to have scalable conversations with their customers using Instagram DMs or Stories, facilitating engaging user interaction and enhanced customer support.

Businesses are now able to leverage the Messenger API for Instagram through Sinch’s Conversation API, a single API that lets businesses create rich and engaging conversations with their customers via a range of widely used consumer channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, MMS, RCS, and more.

People and brands are exchanging messages with each other more than ever, and Instagram is an important channel for connecting customers and building long-term relationships. Instagram has more than 1 billion active accounts worldwide. According to Instagram, 81 percent of respondents said it helps them research products and services.

“Instagram is a powerful channel that lets businesses engage with their customers in a simple, secure and effective way,”, said Eduardo Henrique, Sinch’s Chief Business Development Officer. “The results from our early access trials are very encouraging as customers appreciate the faster responses and improved customer experience that the new offering entails.”

Sinch had early access to the functionality behind the Messenger API for Instagram. One of the first brands that Sinch enabled to leverage the Messenger API was Leiturinha, a Brazilian children’s book club with over 800,000 followers. By leveraging API-powered direct messaging through Instagram, Leiturinha recorded a 35 percent reduction in comments of customers requesting assistance by Instagram DM’s in the first 11 days.

In addition to facilitating processes, business messaging through Instagram also speeds up contact with users who name the brand through mentions of Stories, which makes communication even more dynamic and interactive. As a result, the response time to calls related to direct messages decreased by 42 percent, compared to the average of the last 6 months.

Targetting SMEs with MessageMedia purchase

Meanwhile, Sincgh has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MessageMedia, a leader in mobile messaging solutions for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States and Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

Sinch will pay a total enterprise value of USD 1.3 billion, with a total cash consideration of $1.1bn and 1,128,487 new shares in Sinch.

MessageMedia offers a web-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite that makes it easy to leverage two-way messaging without any need for coding or familiarity with API:s. It operates a highly automated and scalable tech platform that is purposefully tailored to meet the specific needs of small and medium-sized businesses. With a go-to-market motion built around digital customer acquisition and online self-service, the company serves over 60,000 customers and handles more than 5 billion mobile messages per year.

Organic growth is fuelled both by net expansion and new customer acquisition. Performance is particularly strong in the United States, where more than 1,500 new customers are added each month. Moreover, MessageMedia’s management team has a proven capability to drive consolidation and extract economies of scale with 9 successful acquisitions in its target market. Sinch will look to accelerate these efforts, encourage international expansion, and task the MessageMedia management team to build a leading position in customer engagement for small and medium-sized businesses around the world.

“Addressing small and medium-sized businesses opens up a new avenue to growth and dramatically expands our addressable market. With MessageMedia as a part of Sinch, we will have the best team in the industry to capitalize on that opportunity,” says Oscar Werner, Sinch CEO.

MessageMedia focuses on products that can easily be deployed ‘out of the box’ without coding or API integrations. Third-party analysts estimate the total, worldwide addressable market (TAM) for such ‘Turnkey Consumer Engagement” solutions to U$9bn to $13bn , of which the United States makes up around 30 percent. The total market is expected to grow by 25-30% per annum in 2020-24, with particularly strong growth in the United States. Small and medium-sized businesses make up around 50-70% of the market.

The MessageMedia platform allows multiple brands to leverage the same underlying tech platform. Three brands are actively marketed to cater for adjacent but distinct customer groups, with ClickSend and SimpleTexting complementing the MessageMedia brand. The multi-brand capabilities also allow efficient integration of acquired businesses and means that mobile operators can deploy the offering on a white label basis. For ease of use and quick time-to-value, MessageMedia also offers pre-configured integrations to leading cloud platforms such as Shopify, NetSuite and HubSpot.

“Mobile messaging delivers tremendous ROI but smaller businesses often lack tools that cater to their specific needs”, comments Paul Perrett, MessageMedia CEO. “Serving these customers presents a tremendous opportunity, and with Sinch we can build a global leader in our field“.

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