Here's a Message From Our CEO


"We share Nordstrom's belief that it's not about the transaction, but rather, establishing an emotional connection with customers."

Back in 1901, John Nordstrom opened the first store and set the bar for what it means to deliver a personalized customer experience in a retail store. Now over 100 years later, we’re excited to help Nordstrom set a new bar for delivering personalized customer experiences in a digitally connected world.  And we couldn’t be more excited!

When we began incubating the idea for MessageYes inside Madrona Venture Labs, we started with the premise that product discovery on mobile devices wasn’t being done very well. Browsing for products on a mobile device was hard.  People were getting app download fatigue.  Checkout on a mobile device was cumbersome. And email had become a highly impersonal and noisy communication channel.

So instead of building a website or an app, we used messaging as the primary way for customers to interact with our service. We believed that, if we delivered enough value in personalized merchandising and frictionless mobile transactions, our customers would invite us in. We launched a vinyl record store, The Edit, to validate the concept … and it worked.  Using machine learning, we helped users discover albums that they love, and in doing so, built a strong emotional connection with our users. We created a continuous loop with customers, explicitly asking them for feedback with every interaction and incorporating that feedback into an ever-growing profile of albums they love!

As e-commerce veterans with experience in building retail businesses and marketplaces, we had a greater desire to put our technology in the hands of other brands, and so we extended our product so that other retailers could use it, including the personalization and messaging elements. We sold The Edit to our first customer, Universal Music Group, so that we could fully focus on providing our messaging commerce platform to others.

As we went about building this platform business, we encountered our friends at Nordstrom, who shared our perspective on product discovery and our vision for how to deliver personalized customer experiences across every customer interaction. And so here we are today!

Lastly, I want to thank all our amazing employees, investors, and customers for their support and belief in our vision.  Companies may come and go, but friendships and relationships endure.  I couldn’t be more thankful for the relationship I have with all of you.  Thank you!

Dave Cotter

Special thanks to our individual investors:  Savan Kotecha, Francois Kress, Cortez Bryant, Ron Farris, David Solomon, Bob Nelsen