Text Message Marketing Startup Voyage SMS Raises $10 Million, Buys ‘Frenemy’ LiveRecover

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Text Message Marketing Startup Voyage SMS Raises $10 Million, Buys ‘Frenemy’ LiveRecover
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Voyage SMS, which builds text message marketing tools for online stores, has closed a $10 million funding round as well as its first-ever acquisition, the company announced Thursday.

East Coast venture firms RiverPark and York IE led the funding and were joined by angel investors including former Airbnb executive James Beshara and Birthdate Co. CEO Ajay Mehta. Birthdate Co. is among Voyage’s customers, which also include online brands Zitsticka and Negative Underwear.


Alongside the raise, Santa Monica-based Voyage has snapped up LiveRecover, a company that aims to engage with online shoppers after they abandon their shopping carts. Like Voyage, Austin, Texas-based LiveRecover focuses on SMS marketing and integrates with ecommerce services like Shopify and ReCharge. LiveRecover, however, is less centered around automation; in lieu of chatbots, it employs customer service staff in the Philippines to offer a “hands-on, human experience,” Voyage CEO Rev Reddy told dot.LA.

When asked about Voyage’s valuation and the price of the LiveRecover acquisition, a Voyage spokesperson declined to share additional information. The company also declined to comment on previous funding or its total amount raised to date—though Reddy described the new funding as “more of a growth round” for the startup.

Reddy said he had kept an eye on LiveRecover since Voyage publicly launched in late 2019. “We were frenemies in a sense, because people were actually using both services,” he noted. LiveRecover’s principal backers, who Reddy described as an unnamed “family office,” first reached out to the Voyage CEO about a sale through a direct message on LinkedIn, according to Reddy. LiveRecover co-founders Cody Collier and Dennis Hegstad, who founded the startup in 2018, have left the company following the deal.

Voyage will put its new funding toward hiring, as well as expanding its feature set beyond SMS and into “other messaging channels,” Reddy said. Down the line, he added, the platform will know “when to use automation, AI and chatbots and when to add a human to the experience.”

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March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

Santa Monica-based venture outfit March Capital announced Feb. 3 that it raised its largest fund to date, a $650 million investment vehicle that will be used to back up to 15 startups focused on delivering new uses of artificial intelligence.

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Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

The Three Best Ways to Work With Your Startup Board

When launching and running a startup, your board of directors is one of your most valuable assets. If you already understand why you need a board and how to structure your board, it may be tempting to think you can cross that item off the list. But building a board is just the beginning. Now you’ve got to get down to business—together.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
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