While the mass shift to online commerce reached the point of inevitability in 2020, the underlying infrastructure and modes of commerce are evolving faster than ever. Many point to Shopify’s incredible ~10x growth in enterprise value since 2019 — but we think it’s still early days of envisioning what this behavior shift means for commerce and entrepreneurship overall.
Yet one byproduct of the evolution to direct-to-consumer commerce is the rising cost of customer acquisition on core digital channels. The frictionless experience of setting up one’s storefront and ad accounts (combined with readily available sources of capital) means merchants can start spending on marketing immediately, oftentime without any full-time employees. As platforms benefit from heightened competition and ad prices, merchants experience increasing urgency to better convert and deepen loyalty from customers.
While Shopify has done a great job enabling merchants to build direct relationships with end consumers, most brands focus their efforts on channels they don’t own. And yet one of the most performant, direct, personal channels is sitting right in the palm of their hand: SMS. SMS is emerging as the most performant communication channel for commerce, with ~5x the engagement & open rates vs email. And the channel is in its infancy.
Despite its outsized impact in defining an industry, the Shopify community remains tight-knit. So when I hear a name repeatedly gushed over by founders, developers, and partners, my ears perk. Shortly after launching out of YC in 2019, the Postscript team made waves in the Shopify ecosystem as top-notch technologists, customer-obsessed, and A+ partners. As I stayed in touch with the team over the years, I heard a persistent, intense fervor that is incredibly rare in this ecosystem.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Greylock led the Series B investment in Postscript, the leading SMS marketing platform for Shopify stores, trusted by thousands of ecommerce brands and retailers of all sizes. I’ll be joining the Board along with my partner, Sarah Guo.
Hearing the Postscript team discuss their vision for SMS, and matching that against how other integration partners described the potential, it became clear this team is deeply embedded in the fabric and relationships of modern commerce. Postscript’s growth has been exceptional — Brands on Postscript sent over hundreds of millions of text messages in 2020, generating almost $500 million in attributed revenue — but what’s more interesting is how deeply integrated Postscript is into the ecosystem. Its platform approach enables a set of SMS-based use cases that will quickly multiply as integration partners are added.
Postscript stands out in the space, setting out to eliminate one-size-fits-all SMS strategies and instead help brands treat SMS as a personalized, respectful way to communicate with customers — via richer segmentation, a deep emphasis on compliance, and a community approach to designing flows & templates.
I first met the Postscript team in 2019 and was quickly drawn to Adam Turner (Co-founder, CEO), Colin Tuner (Co-founder, COO), and Alex Beller (Co-founder, President). The intense attention to detail around product & deep empathy for customers showed immediately, and has proven to be a great foundation for all subsequent functions in the company. Most importantly, the team has strong values and is widely regarded as kind, thoughtful humans. The focus on community & integrations has also allowed this team to remain lean (…but now the team is hiring!)
We at Greylock are proud to partner with Postscript as the team enters the next phase of their journey and as brands increasingly utilize SMS as a high-engagement, personalized channel for communication and commerce.