Santa Monica-based Callfire Inc., doing business as EZ Texting, has received $13 million in growth capital financing from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s CIBC Innovation Banking arm.

Detailed terms of the financing were not disclosed.


EZ Texting is a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, company that sells access to its text message promotion and marketing services platform. The company targets small- to medium-sized businesses and claims to have more than 30,000 company and public agency clients in the United States and Canada.


Originally founded as mass text messaging service Club Texting, the company has made multiple acquisitions and rebranded several times over its roughly 15-year history.


It acquired competitor EZ Texting in 2013 and rebranded to that name five years later. The company has raised $38.5 million in venture capital funding to date, according to Pitchbook Data Inc. It also received between $2 and $5 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds this year through Beverly Hills-based Pacific Western Bank, citing jobs to be retained with the funds.


EZ texting purports to serve a broad range of sectors from bars and retail shops, to religious organizations and government agencies.


It plans to use the $13 million growth equity funding to build additional features on its platform, according to the company, as well as to grow its “go-to-market teams” — or employees such as sales staff that focus on promoting, selling and distributing a company’s products.


“We’re excited about the new capital and the opportunity to grow our core platform features to include reporting and attribution, improved contact list segmentation, and other SMS marketing focused needs,” EZ Texting Chief Executive Norman Happ said in an email. “We’re making improvements to the user experience including mobile. We’ll also be introducing new services and APIs to meet the needs of mid-market clients.”


The funding falls in line with CIBC Innovation Banking’s typical investments, which center on growth and debt financing for small-to medium-sized businesses mostly in the technology space. It has previously funded companies such as digital academic credentials company Parchment Inc., which was acquired by Sawtelle-based private equity firm Brentwood Associates in February.


“The team at EZ Texting has done a great job of growing the platform by rooting their product features into a customer’s workflow engagement strategy,” said Kevin Grossman, a managing director in CIBC Innovation Banking’s Denver office, in a statement. “We’re impressed with the growth of EZ Texting and excited to help accelerate their efforts.”

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