Why We Invested in Attentive

Five years ago, TapCommerce CEO & Co-Founder Brian Long had a vision of helping brands deliver customers, revenue, and ROI across mobile devices. A lot has changed since then, but one industry megatrend has remained constant: consumers’ radical adoption of mobile commerce and retailers’ desire to reach them on these devices.

More recently, Brian started a new company, Attentive, with a remarkably similar vision and problem-set, but with a different solution: personalized mobile messaging. Leveraging the underused channel of SMS text messaging, retailers can grow their subscriber audiences and experience higher engagement rates than other digital channels like email marketing. Soon innovative retailers like Cratejoy, Boll & Branch, and Boxed were using the product and seeing fantastic results.

The parallels to five years ago are striking. Brian was joined by his remarkably talented co-founder Andrew Jones. Our friends at Eniac Ventures had invested with NextView in Attentive’s seed round. Brian, Andrew, and the rest of their team quickly iterated to devise a product offering that truly resonated with both consumers and retail marketers. And after demonstrating early traction with customers, we were joined again by Scott Friend at Bain Capital Ventures in a Series A round, which Attentive announced today.

Backing Brian and Andrew again marks a notable milestone in the history of NextView, as this is the first time that we’re investing in a team we’ve backed previously. We’ve invested with serial entrepreneurs before, yet this is the first time in the life of our firm that founders have been serial with us (their previous aforementioned venture, TapCommerce, was sold to Twitter).

We’re humbled that Brian and Andrew have chosen to work with us again. We’ve blogged before about how we gravitate towards deterministic founders who have fallen in love with the problem, not the solution. And so I’m excited about Attentive — not just because it addresses a huge challenge retailers face every single day, but also because it’s a problem that Brian and Andrew have loved solving for years across two different companies. I could not be happier to be a part of the next chapter of this team’s enduring journey.