Blockchain

SendGrid CEO Thinks Email Is Here to Stay and Has $33M to Prove It

Email remains a key component of the digital life. PHOTO: Alfred Dielmann

Forget the notion email is dead. It’s a ridiculous idea, according to SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia.

“If you forget your password, you get an email to reset it. If you hit the ‘buy’ button on a website, the confirmation of the purchase arrives via email. When you leave an Uber, your receipt is emailed. How about your communications with Yelp, OpenTable, Airbnb, Spotify?”

Dholakia could have kept going, but his point was made. Even companies that were born digital rely on email.

$33M Series D Round

Denver-based SendGrid delivers more than one billion email messages on behalf of its customers each day. “That is two times the volume of the activity on Twitter,” Dholakia told CMSWire, noting that his company reaches 1.6 billion unique email recipients every month.

If Dholakia sounds like a pitchman, he is. This week the company closed $33 million in a Series D round led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Foundry Group, Bessemer Ventures and SofTech Ventures.

This isn’t money SendGrid necessarily needs at the moment, according to Dholakia, who said that the company was profitable in the third quarter, is cash flow positive and will be profitable in 2017.

“We control our own destiny,” he added, noting that the additional funds might be used for opportunistic acquisitions.

“MarTech has been over-invested by a lot,” he said, explaining that there are solution providers in SendGrid’s space who were founded at about the same time (2009) and are solving interesting problems.

“But they are products or features, not platforms (the way SendGrid is).”

What SendGrid Might Buy

SameerDholakia
Sameer Dholakia

Odds are Dholakia is already shopping. If he is, he will likely acquire a company to augment SendGrid’s existing services: email infrastructure that automates much of the transactional world, email marketing and expert services business.

Some of the money will be used to grow the company as well. SendGrid plans to triple its workforce from 320 to 900 by 2020.

Providing a platform for email delivery might not seem like rocket science, but it is not easy to do it well, Dholakia said.

Dholakia told CMSWire that 20 percent of legitimate email never reaches the intended recipients. Blame or thank Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for that with their aggressive spam filters.

It is up to SendGrid to make sure the latter doesn’t happen.

“We have 320 people who wake up each morning and think and breathe email,” said Dholakia.

Their success is something that SendGrid just took to the bank.


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