So Arizona-based Nextiva sits in a unique spot in the “conversational commerce” space. Launched as a VOIP company in 2006., Nextiva now combines communications, CRM, intelligence, and automation into a single platform. It has branded that platform NextOS.
The company just announced a $200 million raise from Goldman Sachs Asset Management that values the company at $2.7 billion. Nextiva reports it has $250 million in annual recurring revenue. In 2020, the company reportedly generated $200 million in revenue.
So it may come as a surprise that this is the first outside money Nextiva has taken. After 15 years in business. This brings to mind this week’s news that Intuit has acquired fully bootstrapped Mailchimp for $12 billion. This just goes to show that the more you can bootstrap, the more you keep in the end. Yet, there has been a fetishization of capital raising over the years. And of course, this obsession has completely downplayed the downsides of chasing VC cash.
Nextiva co-founder and CEO Tomas Gorny said the funds will help his company build on its mission. And that mission is to help businesses generate data-driven insights from every customer interaction.
“Goldman Sachs is helping advance our mission, which from day one has been to help businesses grow by giving every company access to powerful business tools,” Gorny said. “Nextiva creates a seamless experience by surfacing insights and learnings from every interaction. By doing this, Nextiva enables companies of all sizes and their teams to better understand and serve their customers and accelerate the growth of their business.”
Investing in Innovation
Meanwhile, Nextiva says it plans to use all this fresh cash to invest in innovation. Specifically, the company wants to do the following. “Accelerate innovation for connected communications, including AI and automation development, build out new routes to market, and advance global expansion.”
So in simple terms, Nextiva’s central argument for its NextOS approach is, wait for it, simplicity. This passage from the funding announcement makes the same case that so many all-in-one SaaS companies put forward. Running too many unconnected apps extracts a real cost.
“On average, businesses are using between 15 to 25 applications to communicate, manage and collaborate with their customers and teams. The result is more logins, endless tabs, and jumping between multiple apps, resulting in customer data getting ‘lost’ between the siloes. Nextiva’s funding and valuation reflect a shift in the market to move away from disconnected communications and siloed applications toward tightly integrated tools and workflows that keep customer communication and engagement at the core.”
And finally, an observation, apropos of nothing. Nextiva Co-founder Tracy Conrad certainly has one unique title. Chief Amazing Officer. We’d really like to see that job description.