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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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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INDIEV Teams Up With Foxconn To Launch Electric SUVs

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.

INDIEV Teams Up With Foxconn To Launch Electric SUVs
Photo Courtesy of IndiEV

INDIEV, a startup based in Vernon, announced this week it will partner with Taiwanese tech conglomerate Foxconn to build its first prototypes of its upcoming electric SUV, nicknamed the INDI One.

The debut makes it the seventh consumer electric vehicle company to enter Los Angeles’s crowded cohort of green carmakers.

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