An interview with TextMagic CEO Priit Vaikmaa

Priit Vaikmaa

In our latest interview, we chatted with Priit Vaikmaa, CEO of business text messaging service TextMagic.

What is your background, and what were you doing before forming TextMagic?

My professional background has always centred on customer communications and marketing in the digital world. Prior to joining TextMagic in 2007, I was a Marketing Manager at Modera from 2005, an Estonian IT company specialising in customer experience, content management, and sales tools for the automobile industry. At the same time, I was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management, which I completed in 2007.

What trends are you currently seeing within the international business text messaging industry?

At the moment, there is a growing demand for all customer engagement and communication channels, including texting, to be combined into a single environment.

This will make it much easier for small businesses to use application-to-person texting to its full potential and make it a seamless part of their customer communication and engagement workflows. Serving this demand is one of the main goals of TextMagic’s latest product Touchpoint, a customer engagement platform bringing all communication and marketing channels under one roof.

What effect did the pandemic have on TextMagic and business texting?

The pandemic has seen accelerated widespread adoption of business texting services as a way of keeping in touch with both customers and employees. At the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses turned to texting to keep people in the loop about new safety measures, business changes, and other responses to the pandemic. Furthermore, we saw a massive increase in the amount of everyday commerce and work happening online and via mobile devices.

This was not just a temporary boost for the industry, however. In uncertain times people tend to restrict their spending, leading many businesses to increase their focus on customer loyalty and retention marketing through direct and personalized mobile messaging such as texting.

What are the challenges and benefits of opening new company offices remotely?

At TextMagic, we have had a lot of success with remote company offices. We currently have teams based in Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Romania. This has given us a lot of insights into both the challenges and the rewards of opening remote offices.

Some of the challenges are easy to overcome by putting the right processes and workflows in place, such as coordinating teams across multiple time zones.

By far the most significant advantage of opening remote company offices is the access it gives us to a broader talent pool. Each of our remote offices is in carefully chosen industry hotspots where we can find experienced professionals with the skills we need.

What does the future look like for TextMagic and the international business text messaging market?

TextMagic plans to conduct an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares later this year, with a maximum offering size of 2.5 million euros. The shares will be offered for trade on First North Tallinn, an alternative market of Nasdaq Baltic. We will be using the money raised through the IPO to fund the development of Touchpoint, our upcoming customer engagement platform.

We are also planning to make further inroads into the European market. Currently, our largest market is the US, followed by the UK, Canada, and Australia. By growing our customer base in Europe and other markets, we plan to achieve our revenue goal of $100 million by 2030.

The international business text messaging market as a whole is continuing to grow at a significant rate. The global application-to-person SMS market is expected to exceed $72.8 billion by 2025, increasing from $62.1 billion in 2017, and the number of business text messages sent per year has almost doubled since 2017.

As a result of this growing need for mobile messaging to be integrated seamlessly with every part of a business, I expect to see a push towards offering complete customer engagement solutions by the business SMS industry.