Sendgrid closes on a new $20 million funding round

BOULDER – Email delivery services provider SendGrid Inc. on Tuesday announced a $20 million Series C funding round that CEO Sameer Dholakia said would likely carry the company’s growth well into 2016.

Boulder-based SendGrid, a Techstars graduate founded in 2009, has been viewed as an initial public offering candidate for some time now.

Dholakia, hired to replace Jim Franklin in September, said in a phone interview that it’s difficult to predict when the timing will be right for an IPO. But he said he expects that SendGrid would likely raise another round of funding in 2016, with an IPO following not too long after that.

The Series C round brings SendGrid’s total funding to $48 million. Bain Capital Ventures led the new round, with reinvestments coming from Bessemer Venture Partners and the Boulder-based Foundry Group.

The round will be used to continue product innovation and engineering as well as expanding marketing efforts.

“There are a lot of exciting opportunities for us to expand the portfolio and capabilities,” Dholakia said.

Dholakia said the round will also help SendGrid open a new office in the San Francisco area, where he is based, sometime next year. That office would largely be a chance to take advantage of some of the talent in the area, not to move the headquarters there.

“I imagine we’ll stay Colorado-based for the forseeable future,” Dholakia said.

Rapidly growing SendGrid ranked 233rd on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the nation earlier this year, seeing revenue balloon from $1.4 million in 2010 to $28.9 million in 2013.

The company has added 100 employees over the last 12 months to get to 250. About 65 of those are in Boulder, where the company moved into a new headquarters earlier this year. Another 115 are in Denver, with the rest spread among Orange, Calif., Rhode Island and Europe. Dholakia said he expects another 100 new hires over the next 12 months.

While the company hasn’t disclosed 2014 revenue figures, there’s plenty of reason to believe the growth curve will continue to increase. Its email platform has now sent more than 300 billion emails since the company’s inception. However 100 billion of those have come in just the last eight months as the company powers email for clients like Pandora, GlassDoor, Spotify, Uber, LinkedIn and FourSquare.

“The largest and most successful modern cloud applications have tightly integrated email into their experience using SendGrid,” Bain Capital managing director Ajay Agarwal said in a press release. “We are excited to be working with Sameer and his team as SendGrid embarks on their next phase of growth and builds on their strong leadership position.”