May 11, 2021 at 07:35PM

Infobip, a Croatian tech company that creates customer service chatbots for companies like Uber and Microsoft, aims to raise around half a billion dollars in preparation for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO).

As Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday (May 11), Infobip has just begun speaking to investors about the funding, which would outpace the firm’s last round of $300 million. The money would fund new acquisitions to help expand Infobip’s customer base and give it access to new technology, Chief Executive Officer Silvio Kutic told Bloomberg. The company could complete the funding by August and have its IPO ready in the next 18-20 months, he added.

“The market is very hot, very dynamic, it is moving quickly, and we plan to execute a few M&As before going public,” Kutic said. “In the next two to three months, we should be able to close on the deals we are working on already.”

Infobip became “the first unicorn in southeastern Europe” last year after One Equity Partners bought a stake in the company for $200 million, pushing its value to $1 billion.

As Bloomberg noted, chatbots — software that helps companies connect with users via various messaging platforms — are in vogue lately. Facebook last year announced the acquisition of the chatbot startup Kustomer for a reported $1 billion. Founded in 2015, the omnichannel Software-as-a-Service (Saas) and customer relationship management firm had been valued at $710 million following a private funding round in 2019.

MessageBird, a Dutch company that sells tools for customers to ask questions via text, email or phone, raised $600 million last month to fund its acquisition of the email optimization platform SparkPost, a deal that will add five trillion secure business-to-consumer email interactions to MessageBird’s platform each year.

MessageBird already offers a number of different channels, including WhatsApp, Instagram, Google Business Messages, Messenger, WeChat, LiveChat, Apple Business Chat and Telegram.

Chatbot Maker Infobip Raising $500 Million Toward IPO …

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