Celebrating a major milestone: Firstup achieves $100M in ARR

Picture of Nicole Alvino
Nicole Alvino

Empowering communication and engagement in a dynamic world

We are thrilled to announce a significant achievement in our company journey: Firstup has reached an impressive $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR). This milestone is a testament to our commitment to revolutionizing how organizations communicate, engage, and inspire their teams. As we reflect on our journey, we want to share our story, highlighting key moments that have brought us to this incredible point.

A challenge and an opportunity fueled by momentum

In 2015, we embarked on a quest to address a universal challenge—how to reach and engage every organization’s employees effectively. At that time, there was no tool or platform that was focused on reaching the hardest to reach—the frontline worker—nor was there a tool or platform purpose-built for the professional communicator to manage all the internal communications. The chief communication officer was the last member of the C-suite without their own platform.

We thought about what Marketo did for marketers, Salesforce did for sales leaders, and Workday did for people teams. These solutions brought automation and data to a once manual process AND enabled it at scale. This was our big opportunity for disruption in the SaaS space, and it required the ability to reach the front line effectively. 

We built a “mission control” for communications—one place to create, manage, and measure the distribution of all types of communications to all types of workers wherever they were digitally. This allowed us to move beyond the traditional email and intranet to also include a consumer-grade mobile app to reach the frontline workforce. 

Industry leaders like Dow, Whirlpool, and Boeing were the first to join our movement as they recognized the importance of reaching their frontline and had fallen prey to the current gap in the tech landscape. They saw the potential of a centralized platform that delivered content and provided valuable engagement insights from data—especially for their people on the shop floor. 

In the coming years, other industry titans like Ford, Hilton, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, Phillips 66, Intel, Providence, ADM, Kohler, and Amazon came on board. 

Merging strengths 

The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges in the form of a global pandemic. This was the moment the need for effective employee communications became an urgent, undeniable CEO problem. For the first time, CEOs realized they didn’t have a way to reach all of their people—especially their frontline—with different messages in different regions, languages and channels — unless they had a communications platform. Based on the world and economic conditions, we knew we had to provide broader reach in the market where it mattered most and fast.

So, in 2021, Firstup (formerly SocialChorus) merged with Dynamic Signal, combining industry leaders focused on the same challenge. This synergy brought together two visionary entities with a shared mission that became a CEO must-have during a pivotal moment in history: to engage and empower their organizations effectively.

With double our go-to-market resources, we were able to answer the call from over 40 of the Fortune 100 and hundreds of other customers by connecting them with their 18 million global employees in a more meaningful way. 

We are so proud to deliver a better employee experience for all of these workers, inspiring better performance, true advocacy, and a longer tenure with their employer.

Nurturing growth and investing in the future

Reaching $100 million in ARR is a remarkable achievement, but it’s just one step in our longer-term vision. We remain deeply committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to provide an incredible employee experience for every employee, powered by intelligent communication.

While we’ve been leading with AI for a few years with our intelligent orchestration, we recently announced CommunicationAI, which offers GenAI capabilities in the Firstup intelligent communication platform. CommunicationAI offers our customers enhanced productivity and insights with GenAI capabilities for content creation, audience building through natural language prompts, sentiment analysis for real-time optimization, predictive analytics for strategic targeting, holistic insights, and improved search through AI-driven queries. 

To continue our innovation in employee experience, we are thrilled that industry veterans from Marketo, UKG, and Oracle; Cheryl Chavez, Chief Product Officer (CPO); Ed Bielawa, Chief Technology Officer (CTO); and Joe Marcin, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) have joined our team. These seasoned executives bring a wealth of expertise, and their visionary leadership will play a pivotal role in enhancing our offerings, driving technological innovation, and expanding our market presence. With their guidance, we will remain at the forefront of transformative communication and employee experience solutions.

A heartfelt thank you to our customers and Firstuppers

As we celebrate this important milestone, we want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude. None of this would have been possible without our incredibly loyal customers, dedicated partners, and passionate team members. Your trust, collaboration, and belief in our mission fuel our continued growth and success.

To our customers: You’ve been our driving force, inspiring us to develop solutions that elevate your communication strategies and enhance engagement within your organizations. Your feedback and commitment to shared success have shaped Firstup into what it is today.
To Firstuppers: You are inspirational beyond words as you delight our customers daily and strive to make work better for every worker. What we do is who we are, and by truly living our values—Leadership is in our build, We are all owners, and We win as a team—we have reached this remarkable milestone.

The future for us is indeed bright and with this incredible team, there are no limits to what we can continue to do together.

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