App notifications, well-meaning or not, have become part of everyday life. A 2018 study from Duke University estimated that, aside from email and work app alerts, the average person receives between 65 and 80 mobile app notifications per day. Unsurprisingly, the result is frustration. A recent survey found that half of app users consider push notifications to be annoying, while another suggests that 57% will take action to avoid brands that bombard them with “poorly targeted” communications, including notifications. .
Executing a successful notification strategy requires foresight. In addition, it requires technical know-how and infrastructure. That’s where Courier comes in, says CEO Troy Goode. Courier, which today closed a $35 million Series B funding round led by GV, provides an API and “studio” to send and create notifications across multiple channels, including email, SMS, web and mobiles.
“I founded Courier in 2019. As a former engineer and director of engineering, I have felt the pain of building and scaling notification infrastructure across all businesses that I was involved with,” Goode told TechCrunch in an email interview. Previously, Goode was vice president of engineering at political campaign organizing platform EveryAction and a senior executive at Eloqua, a marketing automation startup. “Whenever I was tasked with creating a new notification system for a new product, I wish I could have found a service to free up my engineering team and avoid the future headache that I knew would follow. This is why I founded Courier.”
Applications can be programmed to emit events, which Courier can receive via the platform’s API or SDK. An event contains data for the content of the notification (for example, a message) and a recipient (for example, a user). Courier generates a notification template and routes it to one or more supported channels or “providers,” including Postmark, Slack, Twilio, or Sendgrid. Finally, each vendor delivers the Courier model to the end user, and Courier receives and records delivery, open, and engagement data.
Courier can proactively notify users when action is required. And it can send dynamic, personalized digests created using Courier’s notification design tool.
“[Many] User accesses to B2B Software-as-a-Service applications are governed by notifications, so getting this experience right is critical to delivering a great user experience as well as driving user engagement,” said Goode. “Courier helps its customers deliver a better user experience, reduce their total cost of ownership by not having to maintain their own notification infrastructure, and achieve much greater agility because new notifications can be sent live in minutes. “
Using Courier to send notifications with segment. Picture credits: Mail
Soon, Goode said, Courier will get new features aimed at making it easier for mobile app developers to send push notifications. A new API will allow developers to deliver an ostensibly more consistent notification experience across devices, while a notification “inbox” for apps will allow users to access all the notifications they’ve received. of an app in one place, even though they’ve opted out of push notifications altogether.
“Mobile push notifications are often the most disruptive types of notification users receive on a daily basis. The multitude of devices, operating systems and authorization protocols also means they are the most complex to create from the point of view. from an engineering and product perspective,” Goode added. “These tools are essential building blocks for delivering a less disruptive and more personalized mobile notification experience.”
Courier is by no means the premier plug-and-play notification platform for apps. There’s MagicBell and Notifo, the latter having been founded in 2010. MagicBell is particularly competitive with Courier, offering a notification inbox that can be integrated into existing software and provides real-time notification.
But Goode says Courier has managed to hold its own, attracting more than 150 paying customers and raising $47.5 million to date. Goode expects the company’s workforce to grow from 40 employees to 65 by the end of the year.
“Notifications are a complex and pervasive technical challenge and use cases vary widely across industries. The biggest challenge is to provide a platform that can solve problems for customers across all industries,” Courier said. “Notifications are an essential part of every software product. Courier has a usage-based pricing model, so as our customers’ user bases grow and they send more notifications, we We are in a position to increase revenue. As long as overall software adoption continues to grow Courier is well positioned to grow.”
Bessemer Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, Twilio Ventures, Slack Fund and Y Combinator also participated in Series B.