Sequoia leads $40M investment in mobile messaging startup Attentive

Attentive, a startup helping retailers personalize their mobile messages, is announcing that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding.

The startup was founded by Brian Long and Andrew Jones, who sold their previous startup TapCommerce to Twitter. When they announced Attentive’s $13 million Series A last year, Long told me the startup is all about helping retailers find better way to communicate with customers, particularly as it’s harder for their individual apps to stand out.

Attentive’s first product allowed for what it calls “two-tap” sign-up, where users can tap on a link on their phone, creating a pre-populated text that signs them up for SMS messages from that retailer.

Since then, it’s built a broader suite of messaging tools, with support for cart abandonment reminders, A/B testing, subscriber segmentation and other features that allow retailers to get smarter and more targeted in their messaging strategy.

The startup says its platform can improve clickthrough rates by more than 30%, and that it now works with more than 400 customers including Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Coach, CB2 and Jack in the Box.

The Series B was led by Sequoia, with participation from new investors IVP and High Alpha, as well

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