Boulder startup Kindara names former SendGrid exec CEO

BOULDER — Kindara Inc., maker of a fertility-tracking mobile app, announced on Wednesday that the company has hired former SendGrid executive Denise Franklin as CEO to help scale the Boulder startup as it goes to market with its first hardware product.

Franklin — the former vice president of revenue and one of the first employees at SendGrid — replaces Kindara cofounder Will Sacks, who is moving into the role of vice president of product.

Denise Franklin
Denise Franklin

Sacks, who founded Kindara with wife Kati Bicknell in 2011, said he’s recognized for awhile that going to market with the company’s Wink thermometer would mark a major inflection point for the firm in terms of growth. He also knew he wanted to keep more of his focus on product development.

He said Franklin came with not only a strong background for the CEO role but also great personal chemistry with the Kindara team.

“She’s focused on go-to-market and growth, and that’s what Kindara needs right now,” Sacks said. “So it was a perfect match.”

Franklin helped grow SendGrid to more than $40 million in revenue and scale from five to more than 250 employees in four years. She left in November 2014, but has stayed connected to the Boulder startup scene since as a mentor with various startup accelerators in town. She also trained for and competed in the Boulder Ironman triathlon during her time away.

The chance to scale another company primed for growth — and one whose mission she connected with — drew Franklin toward Kindara.

Will Sacks, left, and wife Kati Bicknell co-founded Kindara in 2011. (Courtesy Kindara)
Will Sacks, left, and wife Kati Bicknell co-founded Kindara in 2011. (Courtesy Kindara)

“I love this concept of knowledge is power and giving women a way to manage aspects of their health that traditional medicine doesn’t provide today,” said Franklin, who recently married former SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin.

Kindara launched its free app in 2012, helping women track, among other things, basal body temperature, which is a key indicator of progesterone levels and ovulation. The idea is to help women who want to get pregnant do so, as well as to provide those who want to avoid pregnancy a natural means to do so without the use of birth control.

The $99 Bluetooth Wink thermometer adds convenience to those efforts by linking wirelessly to users’ mobile devices and inputting temperatures directly into the Kindara app.

Kindara, which raised a $5.3 million funding round and moved into new offices on 28th Street last August, so far has logged about 10,000 preorders for the thermometer. Sacks said Thursday that the company is within 60 days of going to market.

Because of the early demand, the company is so far focusing solely on direct sales.

Sacks said the 13-person company would likely get to commercialization and try to grow revenue a bit before looking at another funding round later this year.

Franklin’s first order of business as CEO will be getting product out the door and figure out what Kindara’s hiring plan looks like. She said it’s possible that the company could grow as large as 25 to 40 people by the end of the year.

BOULDER — Kindara Inc., maker of a fertility-tracking mobile app, announced on Wednesday that the company has hired former SendGrid executive Denise Franklin as CEO to help scale the Boulder startup as it goes to market with its first hardware product.

Franklin — the former vice president of revenue and one of the first employees at SendGrid — replaces Kindara cofounder Will Sacks, who is moving into the role of vice president of product.

Denise Franklin
Denise Franklin

Sacks, who founded Kindara with wife Kati Bicknell in 2011, said he’s recognized for awhile that going to market with the company’s Wink thermometer would mark a major inflection point for the firm in terms of growth. He also knew he wanted to keep more of his focus on product development.

He said Franklin came with not only a strong background for the CEO role but also great personal chemistry with the Kindara team.

“She’s focused on go-to-market and growth, and that’s what Kindara needs right now,” Sacks said. “So it was a perfect match.”

Franklin helped grow SendGrid to more than $40 million in revenue and scale from five to more than 250 employees in four years. She left in November 2014, but has stayed connected to the Boulder startup scene since as a mentor with various startup accelerators in town. She also trained for and competed in the Boulder…