AI messaging company Holler is well on it’s way to proving that Black founders can obtain VC funding to help power their startups and fuel their missions to change the world.
According to TechCrunch, the Black-owned tech company has just announced the raise of a $36 million Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $51 million overall.
The round was co-led by CityRock Venture Partners and New General Market Partners, with participation from other investors such as Gaingels, Interplay Ventures, Relevance Ventures, Towerview Ventures and WorldQuant Ventures.
MarTech Series reports that Holler plans to use the new funds to “invest in the research, engineering and development around conversational media, and the original creative content intended to drive its use.”
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Holler — which is described as a conversational media company — initially launched with a mission to become a news and video content app before switching its focus over to messaging in 2016, TechCrunch shares.
According to founder and CEO Travis Montaque — an entrepreneur who prides himself on bringing forth more diversity to the tech industry — messaging is “the most important experience for people online,” since “it’s where we communicate with the people who are closest to us.”
With many forms of communication happening online more and more now amid the pandemic lockdowns, platforms like Holler prove to be essential in enhancing consumer communication in the digital space.
“Having meaningful conversations online is more important now than ever,” Montaque told ESSENCE. “We knew that conversational media would be essential to everyday life so we’ve spent the last few years finessing our technology and building the foundation to take advantage of the moment when the market was ready to embrace it on a broader scale. In 2020, that work has started to pay dividends as the influence and potential of conversational media gained momentum with both investors and brands.”
Holler’s app incorporates both art and suggestion AI technology to curate stickers and GIFs that are then recommended to match the right content based on a user’s conversations and contexts. Montaque claims that by using this context-focused approach it allows the app to provide smart recommendations that also respects users’ privacy.
“Holler is integrated into top messaging apps and keyboards, helping millions of people have more meaningful conversations every day, everywhere,” the company’s website states.
By partnering with brands like Venmo, HBO Max, Ikea, Starbucks and others, Holler is able to position itself into each company’s content library. Holler’s overall goal is to bring more compelling content to the messaging portion of apps to “enrich conversations everywhere,” Montaque states.
For more information about Holler, visit its website.