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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LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

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LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: LeaseLock, Visgenx, PlayVS and Pressed Juicery Gains New CEOs

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.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: LeaseLock, Visgenx, PlayVS and Pressed Juicery Gains New CEOs
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.


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Esports platform PlayVS hired EverFi co-founder and seasoned business leader Jon Chapman as the company’s chief executive officer.

Biotechnology company Visgenx appointed William Pedranti, J.D. as chief executive officer. Before joining, Mr. Pedranti was a partner with PENG Life Science Ventures.

Pressed Juicery, the leading cold-pressed juice and functional wellness brand welcomed Justin Nedelman as chief executive officer. His prior roles include chief real estate officer of FAT Brands Inc. and co-founder of Eureka! Restaurant Group.

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Full-service performance marketing agency Allied Global Marketing promoted Erin Corbett to executive vice president of global partnership and marketing. Prior to joining Allied, Corbett's experience included senior marketing roles at Disney, Warner Bros. Studios, Harrah's Entertainment and Imagi Animation Studios.

Nuvve, a vehicle-to-grid technology company tapped student transportation and automotive sales and marketing executive David Bercik to lead the K-12 student transportation division.