Community.com Inc., the Santa Monica-based developer of a text messaging platform that enables celebrities and brands to communicate directly with fans and customers, announced April 9 that it had received a $40 million investment from Salesforce Ventures.
The startup has now raised almost $90 million since launching its messaging service in 2019, with investors that include Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Beverly Hills-based Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and the Sony Innovation Fund.
Community said it has facilitated more than 3 billion text messages through its platform and signed up more than 26 million users. The company’s services give “leaders” (a category that includes celebrities, businesses, politicians and influencers) the ability to use a phone number unique to the platform to exchange text messages with the general public.
Brands and individuals using the company’s platform include Jennifer Lopez, Tom Brady and People Magazine.
Salesforce.com Inc. President and Chief Managing Officer Sarah Franklin said in a statement that Community provides a “powerful example of how organizations of any size can foster human connection to build meaningful relationships and drive growth.”
According to Community, data gathered through its platform indicates that messages from organizations and influencers are likely to generate responses from users. Click-through rates hover around 60% when “leaders” message members of the community, the company said.
Community has presented its service as a secure and private alternative to other messaging platforms that provide more direct forms of communication than social media.
“Our business model and purpose are built on keeping people directly and instantly connected to the conversations that they want to be part of at scale,” Chief Executive Matt Peltier said in a statement.
Peltier added that the company would use the new funding from Salesforce to provide “valuable marketing and communications” opportunities for the celebrities and brands making use of its platform.