Hiya, a Seattle, WA-based startup which makes mobile phone calls more contextual, raised $18M in Series A funding.
The round was led by Balderton Capital, with participation from Nautilus Venture Partners and Lumia Capital. In conjunction with the funding, Balderton general partner Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, an early executive at Uber and Dropbox, will join Hiya’s board.
The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand globally, with a significant portion invested in supporting and expanding its AI and machine learning product roadmap, as well as growing its data and engineering teams.
Launched in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Alex Algard, Hiya analyzes more than 3.5B calls and texts per month to provide rich contextual information to users about who is on the other end of the line. It also makes it easier to place outbound calls to businesses by integrating the local search experience directly into the phone’s dialer.
Through established partnerships with AT&T, Samsung, T-Mobile, ZTE and proprietary apps for both Android and iOS, Hiya’s global database of comprehensive Caller Profile information identifies legitimate numbers as well as blocks known spam or scam calls, enabling users to avoid falling victim to ever-increasing fraudulent activity.
Hiya Business Profiles, which was launched earlier this year and is available embedded into the dialer functionality for Samsung users as “Samsung Places” in more than 28 countries, enhances the outbound phone call experience between consumers and businesses. With integrated search and discovery, users can quickly find and call any local business directly from Samsung phone dialers, eliminating the need to conduct a web search or open a third party app.
Hiya is available as a consumer app on Google Android and iPhone and is integrated into the phone experience for AT&T Call Protect, T-Mobile Name ID, ZTE Axon 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note8, and all A-Series and J-Series users worldwide.
The company already provides these services to more than 20M users in 196 countries,
Headquartered in Seattle, Hiya has more than 50 employees across four offices worldwide and Algard has relocated to London to oversee international expansion.