Nexmo has raised $3 million from Intel Capital for its mobile messaging API, carrier grade service. Also participating were NHN Investment Corporation and Initial Capital. Nexmo, founded in 2010, raised $500,000 in seed capital at the beginning of last year.
Nexmo is one of a new generation of companies that are disrupting the telco market. It streamlines the layers between the telcos and developers, removing the hubs by offering a carrier grade service based upon a worldwide network that gives companies like Airbnb an international messaging platform for communicating between buyers and sellers over SMS.
The messaging API service reaches 5 billion people around the world. Developers from companies like Pfizer use Nexmo APIs to deliver messages that pop up on the display of a mobile phone, independent of SMS. Without Nexmo, Pfizer would have to build out its own infrastructure to offer the same capability.
Nexmo is a wholesaler with a model based upon pay-per-use, similar to Twilio, a competitor in the space. The difference: Twilio works with vendors to access the telcos while Nexmo goes direct. Tropo, which competes with Twilio, is a Nexmo client. The funding will help Nexmo scale its model and launch more APIs such as a text to speech capabilities.
CEO and Co-Founder Tony Jamous has 15 years experience in the wholesale business, which gives the company an inherent advantage. Jamous and his team have relationships with telcos all over the world, which helps make it easier to form partnerships. Co-Founder and CTO Eric Nadalin spent five years building APIs to connect telcos into the wholesale market.
The company has offices in London and San Francisco with plans to open in Madrid and Singapore. It has 20 employees and expects to have 35 total by the end of the year.
It’s the abstraction of the telco that is at the heart of what Nexmo offers. Its service is not tied to building out multi-million dollar infrastructure to offer new capabilities. The extension comes in the form of APIs that any developer can use.
The funding and rapid growth of the Nexmo platform is another sign of the fast disruption to the telco market. Developers represent a golden chance for the telcos to work with providers like Nexmo and open-source software companies like 2600hz to create a programmable network that can be used to build out mobile apps and other services such as those that leverage SMS.