On November 10, 2015 fourteen of us gathered in six-thousand square feet of empty office space on the top floor of 5333 Casgrain in Montreal. Six days later we would spin out of the former Radialpoint and collectively found Smooch.
Standing together that day, overlooking Montreal’s famous Mile End neighborhood, we clinked champagne glasses (Okay, they were plastic cups with cheap sparkling wine) and toasted to our vision of a future where every business in the world could treat each customer with the same personal warmth and respect of a close friend. At the time, our vision of customer love seemed so very far away from the frustrating on-hold times and live chat queues, de-humanizing case numbers and online forms, and impersonal no-reply notifications we had all become far too accustomed to.
Three-and-a-half years later we couldn’t be more proud to be at the forefront of the most significant change in how brands and consumers communicate in decades. We have seen the launches of Facebook Messenger for Business, WhatsApp Business API, Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messaging and RCS, each of which Smooch was an early adopter and integrator of. Enterprise demand for these channels and their superior customer experiences have driven our growth handsomely. We have also benefited from the rising tides of conversational commerce and conversational marketing, which contributed to the popularity of our market leading web and mobile SDKs that can integrate with any customer helpdesk, contact center or customer engagement platform.
We generated revenue from our first month in business, and our unique approach to the market allowed us to grow over 15% per month or almost 450% per year since founding. It’s been absolutely wild. We were always told that we'll know what product-market fit feels like, and boy was that true! Today, our headless API and SDK-based platform, combined with our ecosystem of over 100 integrated CX platforms, allows more than 4,000 businesses to build richer relationships with their tens of millions of consumers every month through messaging conversations.
From our 14 founders, we have grown to more than 60 Smoochies who are so proud to support a global customer base that includes the greatest CX brands and software products that exist: Zendesk, Oracle, Genesys, Freshdesk, Khoros (formerly Lithium), Clarabridge, LiveChat, Four Seasons, Uber, Betterment, Harry’s, LVMH, Delivery Hero, BarkBox and so many more incredible companies. All in less than four years.
Today, we begin the next chapter of this unlikely story: joining the Zendesk team.
While this is definitely an unplanned — and if you asked us only a few months ago, a never going-to-happen — outcome for Smooch, it is one that we believe will supercharge our mission to make customer relationships more human and make Smooch more powerful and transformative than we would be on our own.
You may be thinking: doesn’t Smooch’s headless platform strategy conflict with Zendesk’s multi-application CRM suite strategy? Obviously Zendesk, one of Smooch’s oldest customers, is simply trying to take us off the market, right? Hell no.
We have always said we were a terrible acquisition target since our open platform strategy requires a legendary embrace of co-opetition to deliver all the value from Smooch. But Zendesk has convinced us, and their acquisition of Smooch should convince you, of their shared vision to be a truly open platform. Last Fall Zendesk launched Sunshine — an open and flexible CRM platform built to deliver the next generation of customer intimacy by letting brands connect and better understand their customer data. While it will take time for our joint teams to get there, Smooch couldn’t plug-in more beautifully to Sunshine, with Smooch’s conversational data model ultimately allowing brands to connect all their conversations with the rest of their customer data.
When we learned about the depth of Zendesk’s vision for Sunshine and their team’s commitment to building a truly open platform, we were blown away. There are many customer data platforms out there, but no one who shares Smooch’s vision for the power and importance of conversational data like Zendesk. And there is no company or team of people in the world who share our level of passion and commitment to enabling truly amazing customer experiences.
So, whether you’re already a Zendesk customer or not, nothing changes today from the Smooch you know. We have been proud to serve our incredible customers as Smooch, and we look forward to serving them just as we have to date under the Zendesk name — only now backed by a remarkable, committed team of over 3,000 new colleagues across the globe. Rather than expecting any change to our vision, our roadmap, our service or scalability, expect a doubling down!
Thank you to all of our customers and partners who helped us get to where we are. We look forward to continuing to build the future of customer experience together. And to the 145,000 Zendesk customer accounts we don’t yet know, we can’t wait to serve you as well.
To the Smooch team, what can we possibly say? From the founding 14 to today’s crew of 60 rock stars, you have been our inspiration. You define everything that is Smooch. We talk about one of our core values being “enjoying the journey together” and this remains more true than ever. Joining Zendesk may be the end of one journey, but it is also the beginning of another. A journey that holds only greater opportunity to help businesses deepen and enrich their customer relationships through conversation.
So thank you to every Smooch team member who helped get us here, and special thanks also go out to our financial partners. Real Ventures and JS — it took us a while, but we finally found a first opportunity to partner on, thank you. iNovia, with very special call outs to Chris Arsenault and Sarah Marion, you define a founders-first culture and every VC firm on the planet can learn from you. Thank you for your guidance and most importantly always having our backs. John Meeks and Hythem El-Nazer from TA Associates — what a long strange trip it’s been from where we began back in 2008! When it comes to growth equity, you will always be our first and hopefully (!) last call, and we thank you for being the most steadfast partners anyone could ask for.
Finally, thank you to Mikkel, Adrian, John, Ben, Brett and the rest of Zendesk leadership whose commitment to Smooch has always been so humbling. We can't wait to walk into the Sunshine together!
💜Warren, Mike and Hamnett