ElectricSMS, the leading product enabling customers to manage their subscription preferences through a simple SMS chat, today announced the acquisition of the company by ReCharge in a multi-million dollar cash and equity deal. ElectricSMS is the brainchild of AE Studio, the Venice-based development, data science, and design studio that creates custom software solutions that increase human agency. ReCharge, the leading provider of subscription management software for ecommerce, will rebrand ElectricSMS to ReChargeSMS. ElectricSMS gives customers agency over their subscription preferences in real-time, allowing them to skip, revise, renew, and reschedule their orders through a simple SMS chat and is currently used by leading brands like Olipop, Super Coffee, and GEM.
Only two years into the product's deployment, ElectricSMS has already helped 220,000 unique users manage their subscriptions and processed over $25 million in revenue for 56 merchants. The platform dramatically reduces customer service needs through automated customer engagement and has saved merchants over 7,800 billable hours to date. For brands using the product, customer retention metrics have improved by as much at 18% when users opt-in for ElectricSMS compared to those that don't.
"The acquisition of ElectricSMS furthers our mission to provide best-in-class tooling for the world's leading commerce brands," said Oisin O'Connor, CEO & co-founder of ReCharge. "ReCharge is focused on reducing friction around payments and subscription management for our customers. With ElectricSMS, the talented team at AE Studio built a tool that dramatically improves customer retention and LTV, reduces customer service costs by an average of $25,000 per year, and increases MRR by 10%. We believe that transactional SMS will become one of the key communication channels between merchants and consumers. We're thrilled to partner with the AE Studio team and offer such a compelling service to our customers."
AE Studio builds world-class software for consumer, fintech, AI, media, healthcare, and B2B clients, including Samsung, Berkshire Hathaway, Draper Venture Network, Chance the Rapper's Chicagoist, and Ritual. AE's team specializes in taking startups to scale, operationalizing machine learning, and launching companies as a studio. The firm incubates internal startup ideas through their skunkworks model, a pioneering technology space designed around four key concepts: Hire incredibly talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and enable them to do world-class development work for the firm's clients, empower them to develop human agency increasing ideas of their own simultaneously, validate them without the live-or-die pressure of early-stage startup life, tap into all the talent at AE to continually grow and invest more and more into building out category-leading ideas.
"AE Studio believes their teams should be empowered with the opportunity and resources to grow into successful entrepreneurs with their own startups," said Wesley Magness, former AE entrepreneur-in-residence & employee and now Product Manager at ReCharge, "With the partners at AE Studio, I was given the freedom and opportunity to create my own process, which empowered me to turn an idea into a successful product used by hundreds of thousands of consumers. With this acquisition, I'm excited to join ReCharge in the next phase of ElectricSMS's journey."
The firm's unique model and thesis around human agency deliver outsized value to clients and society more broadly while fostering and empowering exceptionally talented designers, developers, and data scientists. AE continues to influence a new wave of high-impact startups that massively drive innovation, increase agency, and gain outsized returns that otherwise wouldn't exist.
Today, AE is hard at work on multiple skunkworks projects, including work in the psychedelics space, video fitness, and travel. By doubling down on hiring, AE is growing dramatically and attracting the best talent to its now 65-person team. This year, AE will continue to launch projects with various startups, enterprise companies, and charities like United Way and continue to grow revenues as it did in 2020 when it grew top-line revenue by 75%. Recently, the firm began investing in brain-computer interfaces, one of the company's founding aspirations, and has already hired full-time BCI researchers and data scientists to lead the firm's innovative new research.