It was almost like Chattanooga Text request was born for this moment.
The eight-year-old SaaS startup helps organizations communicate more effectively with customers through text messaging campaigns. The idea was certainly scalable when the startup started. But the team has gone into “hyper-growth” mode, said CEO Brian Elrodas companies from more than 100 different verticals seek to navigate the post-pandemic world.
“Companies were looking for new ways to communicate without contact,” he added. This includes options for appointment scheduling and scheduling, customer service tracking, and member engagement campaigns.
2020 brought new use cases for SMS campaigns. So the SMS Demand Team got to work and launched both SMS payment options and options specific to political campaigns. These were important as companies sought to capture recurring revenue and candidates sought ways to connect with voters under social distancing orders.
But it’s not just COVID-related trends that have driven Text Request’s growth. The platform harnessed the generational shift around communication. “Millennials really drove this business,” Elrod told Hypepotamus. “They are the biggest consumer base and they are the ones who do all of their communication via text. Many don’t even have voicemail set up.
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Text request is far from the only option in the conversational texting space. One of its main competitors, Seattle-based Zipwhip, raised nearly $100 million before being bought out by Twilio in 2021. The software side of Zipwhip’s business was dismantled in this acquisition, and Text Request was selected as the preferred vendor for the 20,000 customers looking for a new SaaS messaging service.
Zipwhip raised nearly $100 million prior to the acquisition. Text query started from the beginning. Elrod said at first it was out of necessity as an early SaaS startup in Tennessee. “When we started, we thought because we were a tech company, we had to fundraise because that’s what everyone was celebrating,” he added. “There is a bit of luck, but we have worked very hard to build this product. And as the old analogy goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get.
The company’s payroll is currently pushing 40 people, according to Elrod. Many are based in Chattanooga, with talented engineers from all over the country.