Software firm MessageBird CEO says sales passed $300 million in 2020

FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend the MessageBird messaging platform booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The chief executive of European software company MessageBird said on Tuesday its sales passed $300 million in 2020, implying year-on-year growth of nearly 50%, as it prepares for a possible IPO as early as this year.

But CEO Ruben Vis said MessageBird, a cloud communications business sometimes compared to U.S. Twilio, has not yet decided whether to list in the United States or Europe, or when.

"We'll be ready H1 of this year, which is what I said a year ago and which is still the case," Vis said told Reuters ahead of an announcement on Tuesday that it has purchased Dutch video conferencing company 24sessions.

But he underlined the company has not hired banks for a listing and does not need funding after a $200 million capital raise in October that valued it at $3 billion.

Though the price for 24sessions was not disclosed, Vis said that MessageBird has spent $100 million on three acquisitions in the past four months, including 24sessions, of France and Pusher of Britain, which it bought for $35 million in December.

"We've built a pretty significant software business in Europe, growing at high scale," Vis said. He said the company has rejected takeover offers from major U.S. software firms and was determined to remain independent and European.

MessageBird helps companies handle and keep track of communications with customers which nowadays may switch between WhatsApp messages, phone calls, emails and video tools.

Among its 15,000 customers are Uber, Dominos, Telegram, Lufthansa, Heineken and SAP.

According to public filings at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, MessageBird made a loss of 9 million euros ($10.6 million) in 2019 on sales of 169 million euros.

Vis said the company will also report a small loss in 2020.

($1 = 0.8491 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by David Evans)

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