Microsoft Ventures has joined a Series B funding round for messaging startup Layer. The company announced it is raising $15 million through this round. As well as Microsoft's small-scale investment division, Layer is being backed by Salesforce Ventures, Greycroft Partners, and other investors. Layer is already a strategic partner to Microsoft Ventures. The company says it is raising funds so it can acquire fellow communications startup Cola. This other company develops interactive bubbles for messaging apps and will be integrated with Layer's service. Layer has enjoyed success since launching its technology in 2013. Among the company's worldwide customers are Stabples, Udacity, and others. The startup is also already a Microsoft partner. Layer uses the Microsoft Translator API to give users tools to send messages that can be automatically translated. Speaking of which, Layer's product is an open internet communication layer that gives developers tools to integrate messaging capabilities into any application. Its plans for the Cola acquisition include buying the company's intellectual property and technology. The purchase would cover Cola's Bubble Development Kit (BDK). “With this new acquisition, Layer is extending its messaging platform to give brands access to Cola technology—interactive, stateful messages that live inside a conversation,” says Ron Palmeri, CEO of Layer. “We've seen messaging evolve from simple chat into a rich stream of events. Now, developers using Layer will have a framework to make these events interactive and collaborative.”
Microsoft Ventures Invests in Communications Startup Layer
Microsoft Ventures contributed to a $15 million Series B funding round that allowed Layer to acquire interactive bubble developer Cola.