On Wednesday, Boulder-based Stream announced that it raised $15 million in Series A funding.
Stream provides APIs that help companies include activity feeds and chat features on their websites or apps. Anyone who uses social media is probably accustomed to what an activity feed looks like, and plenty of apps and websites already have chat features baked in. But what you might not know is that these features can be especially cumbersome to make and prone to break if they can’t scale.
Stream CEO and co-founder Thierry Schellenbach experienced this first hand when he worked at a social network company in the Netherlands. As that company grew and acquired more users, it had to figure out how to account for the exponentially higher number of updates to the activity feed. It took plenty of work to fix this problem, and since most activity feeds and chat features are built in-house by engineering teams, Schellenbach figured that not every company had the means to figure it out on their own.
“Stream’s APIs for chat and activity feeds enables product teams to build a polished user experience,” Schellenbach said in a statement. “Our customers launch faster and can iterate more often than teams that build in-house.”
Over a billion people have used Stream’s APIs, thanks to several high-profile customers including Imgur, Match, TaskRabbit, Bandsintown and more. If you’ve used the chat function or seen an activity update on any of these websites or apps, you likely have Stream to thank for it.
Stream has long catered to these tech-centric companies, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has seen new industries choosing Stream as they shift to include more online functions.
“One industry that surprised me was all the online event apps using Stream,” Schellenbach told Built In. He also noted that religious communities were turning to Stream to maintain communication due to the restrictions on large in-person gatherings.
And now Harvard University, the University of Cambridge and other educational institutions are using Stream to connect educators with students.
With all these new industries using Stream, the company has seen a surge in demand, and this new funding round will help the company capitalize on it. Part of this involves growing the team.
Stream currently employs about 60 people. About half of the team is based out of the company’s Boulder headquarters, while another half work in Amsterdam and a few people work in remote locations. By the end of the year, Stream aims to employ about 100 people between its two offices and remote. The company is looking to hire for roles across engineering, sales and marketing. Some key roles include a VP of marketing, senior product manager, head of people and more.
The funding will also help Stream build more features for its APIs. It plans to add things like location sharing, MML/rich messaging, custom slash commands, slow mode and a new dashboard to make it easier to moderate these feeds.