7 enterprise messaging companies to watch

Just a taste of the growing number of business-centric messaging companies out there.

Texting for business
Texting for business

As almost everybody is probably now aware, it’s the age of the text message, and the business world is no exception. With more and more enterprise communication taking place via text, it’s not a surprise that a new wave of companies is aiming to make the SMS more business friendly. Here’s a look at a few of the more notable ones.

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CoTap
Credit: App Store
Cotap

Cotap is probably the best-known of the new wave of enterprise messaging startups, with its mobile messaging platform for Android and iOS aiming to become WhatsApp for the business world. It’s a simple enough app, focused on moving brief but important conversations out of email inboxes.

FUNDING: Venture-backed, total of $15.5 million

Talk.co
Credit: Play Store
Talk.co

BranchOut started as essentially a Facebook-based version of LinkedIn – a professional network over the top of Facebook, in a way – but pivoted in 2013 and became a professional messaging platform called Talk.co. The company’s service works on iOS, Android, web and Mac desktops.

FUNDING: Total of $49 million in venture funds as of mid-2012.

TigerText
TigerText

TigerText provides a focus on regulatory compliance and a million-dollar indemnity against HIPAA breaches, befitting its apparent focus on the healthcare sector. Available for iOS, Android and in a web app.

FUNDING: A little less than $30 million in venture capital, as of January 2014.

Imprivata
Imprivata

Another company whose offerings are heavily targeted at the healthcare sector, Imprivata offers a wide range of messaging products, available to both large hospitals and smaller practices. It also incorporates more advanced, healthcare-specific features, like electronic medical record compatibility. Available for PC, Mac, iOS and Android.

FUNDING: Was venture funded as of 2008, but it’s gotten all the way to filing for a $115 million IPO.

HeyWire
HeyWire

A Cambridge, Mass.-based startup, HeyWire released a business-focused enterprise messaging platform in 2013. It uses a cloud-based system to register employee phone numbers and assign them to their own messaging identity, accessible via the web, Android or iOS.

FUNDING: Venture funding of $13.3 million.

Waggl
Waggl

More specialized than some of the above tools, Waggl is essentially a polling service used to quickly get group input on a specific question. It’s entirely web- and email-based – no smartphone apps here.

FUNDING: $1.1 million in venture funding.

Convo
Convo

Less a texting platform than an enterprise-focused social network, a la Yammer, Convo nevertheless includes messaging functionality. Lots of handy features, like document annotation and guest invites – to bring clients into a conversation – are available.

FUNDING: $5 million in venture funds, as of September 2013.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.