App notifications, well-intentioned or not, have become a part of everyday life. A 2018 study from Duke University estimated that, excluding 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 find push notifications annoying, while another suggests that 57% will take steps to avoid brands bombarding them with “poorly targeted” communications, including notifications.
Executing a successful reporting 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 build notifications across multiple channels, including email, SMS, web and mobile.
“I founded Courier in 2019. As a former engineer and technical director, I experienced the pain of building and scaling notification infrastructure at every company I was involved with,” Goode told TechCrunch in an email interview. Previously, Goode was VP Engineering at EveryAction, a platform for organizing political campaigns, and senior manager at Eloqua, a marketing automation startup. “Every time I was given the task of building a new notification system for a new product, I wished there was a service I could reach to free up my tech team and avoid the future headaches I knew were those. would follow. That’s why I founded Courier.”
Apps can be programmed to broadcast events, which Courier can receive via the platform’s API or SDK. An event contains data for the notification content (for example, a message) and a recipient (for example, a user). Courier generates a notification template and sends it to one or more supported channels or “providers,” including Postmark, Slack, Twilio, or Sendgrid. Finally, each provider delivers Courier’s template to the end user, and Courier receives and records delivery, open, and engagement data.
Courier can proactively notify users when their action is required. And it can send dynamic, custom summaries created with Courier’s notification design tool.
†[Many] User access to business-to-business software-as-a-service applications is notification-driven, so getting this experience right is critical to delivering a great user experience and driving user engagement,” said Goode. “Courier helps its customers deliver a better user experience, lower their total cost of ownership by not having to maintain their own notification infrastructure, and achieve a much greater degree of flexibility as new notifications can be sent live in minutes.”
Soon, Goode said, Courier will receive new functionality that should make it easier for mobile app developers to send push notifications. A new API allows developers to deliver a seemingly more consistent notification experience across devices, while an app notification “inbox” gives users access to all notifications they’ve received from an app in one place — even if they’re not aware of it. have opted out of push notifications altogether.
“Mobile push notifications are often the most disruptive types of notifications that users receive on a daily basis. The multitude of devices, operating systems and consent protocols also means they are the most complex to build from an engineering and product standpoint,” Goode added. “These tools are essential building blocks for delivering a less disruptive, more personalized mobile notification experience. .”
Courier is by far the first plug-and-play notification platform for apps. There are MagicBell and Notifo, the latter of which was founded way back in 2010. MagicBell is highly competitive with Courier and offers a notification inbox that can be embedded into existing software and provides real-time notification delivery.
But Goode claims Courier has held 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 to 65 by the end of the year.
“Notifications are a complex and ubiquitous technical challenge, and the use cases vary widely by industry. The biggest challenge is delivering a platform that can provide solutions for customers across industries,” said Courier. “Notifications are an essential part of any software product. Courier has a usage-based pricing model, so as our customer base grows and they send more notifications, we can increase sales. As long as 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 the Series B.