August 24, 2021
Mercury, Atento Capital and Cortado Ventures lead Seed Round for growing SMS start-up Respond Flow
Tulsa, OK -- August 24, 2021 -- Respond Flow, a software startup that helps steer organizations through the complexities of mass text message compliance, today announced a seed round raise of $2.5M led by Mercury, Atento Capital, and Cortado Ventures. The company will use the funds to expand its Tulsa-based operations, building out its development and sales teams.
“We launched Respond Flow to help companies navigate the complexities of mass text messaging and confidently connect with their customers 1-on-1,” said Martin Lien, co-founder and CEO of Respond Flow. “We’re grateful to have Mercury, Atento, and Cortado in our corner as we grow our team in Tulsa and move to capture more of the market.”
Respond Flow’s SMS platform allows users to schedule and send personal and trustworthy text messages to customers, prospects or employees using a local 10-digit number. Sending mass text messages can be a complicated process. Cell carriers continue to change regulations, and can fine companies up to $10,000, or even shut down service, for failure to comply with SMS rules. Respond Flow is one of the only platforms on the market that manages compliance from number registration to campaign with a simple experience that streamlines the process for small to medium-sized businesses.
"RespondFlow is seeing undeniable momentum in the SMS market," said Aziz Gilani, Managing Director at Mercury. "We're proud to support their growth as they continue to roll out new features and services that sharpen their competitive advantage."
Respond Flow’s emphasis on compliance has helped the company boast a 97% text message delivery rate, attracting big organizations such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, AR Workshop, and Sysco, among more than 150 customers since launching in 2019.
“When you meet passionate founders who are fresh out of college, living together, and working on something 24/7, there's a certain energy that compels you to get behind it,” said Will Gray, head of investments at Atento Capital. “As texting regulations continue to evolve, Respond Flow’s platform is emerging as a resource that’s trustworthy, easy to use, and effective. The company’s momentum is felt across the Tulsa tech ecosystem and we’re excited to see what’s next.”
Respond Flow recently relocated from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, and is rapidly expanding its footprint in the 36 Degrees North co-working space at Tulsa City Hall. The company is in the process of doubling the square footage of its new headquarters and is hiring for several senior positions, including head of product, head of sales, and senior messaging engineer, among others. A full list of open positions can be viewed here.
“Martin Lien and his team at Respond Flow have a knack for creating enthusiasm and motivation around their efforts,” Nathaniel Harding, managing partner of Cortado Ventures, said. “Their success as a practical technology solution and as innovators translate to success for Oklahomans who want to see our state grow. Whether folks directly benefit from Respond Flow’s growth by finding job opportunities or indirectly benefit by gaining access to flourishing economic development and budding regional tech industry, they’ll see the impact Respond Flow has for our community.”
About Respond Flow
Respond Flow steers users through the complexities of mass text message compliance to avoid fines and confidently connect with their customers. Using their platform they empower organizations to connect with their customers and build authentic relationships.
Mercury is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Houston, Texas. With over $500 million under management, Mercury invests in entrepreneurs and innovation across Middle America. Our investment themes focus on SaaS, Cloud, and Data Science/AI platforms enabling the digital transformation of markets and industries.
About Atento Capital
Atento Capital is an investment firm that’s driving opportunity in Tulsa through returns, quality job creation, and being helpful. By democratizing access to venture capital and creating pathways to upward mobility for traditionally underinvested groups of people, Atento has helped dozens of companies and entrepreneurs grow and thrive in the Tulsa tech ecosystem.
About Cortado Ventures
Cortado Ventures is managed by partners Nathaniel Harding, David Woods, and Mike Moradi. The fund invests in early-stage companies in a variety of Oklahoma regional sectors by aggregating and managing investor capital, and helps startups grow through seed funding, collaboration, and mentorship. The Cortado partners have launched the venture capital fund to build next generation companies which will bring future-ready technology jobs to the region.