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Type Private
Industry Technology
Founded 2009
Founders Isaac Saladana, Jose Lopez, Tim Jenkins
Headquarters Boulder, Colorado, United States

SendGrid is a Boulder, Colorado-based transactional email delivery and management service.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The company was founded by Isaac Saldana, Jose Lopez, and Tim Jenkins in 2009, and incubated through the TechStars accelerator program.[7][8][9][10] As of 2013, SendGrid has raised over $27 million and has offices in Boulder, Denver, Anaheim, and London, and operations in New York City and San Francisco.[6][10][11][12][13][14][15]


SendGrid provides a cloud-based email delivery service that assists businesses with transactional email management while abiding by anti-spam regulations.[5][7][16][17] The service manages various types of email including shipping notifications, friend requests, sign-up confirmations, and email newsletters. It also handles internet service provider (ISP) monitoring, domain keys, sender policy framework (SPF), and feedback loops.[11][18][19][20] Additionally, the company provides link tracking, open rate reporting, and CAN-SPAM compliance.[18] It also allows companies to track email opens, unsubscribes, bounces, and spam reports without the utilization of code.[5][18][21] Beginning in 2012, the company integrated SMS, voice, and push notification abilities to its service through a partnership with Twilio.[13]

SendGrid offers a freemium version and a Lite Plan (pay-as-you-go), as well as four expanded levels of service: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.[5][22][23]

SendGrid’s clients include Pinterest, Twilio, Foursquare, Pandora, and Airbnb.[11][17][20][24]


In 2013, the company fired Adria Richards after she tweeted a picture of two developers who made jokes that offended her during a conference. Her firing initiated a petition and caused international press coverage.[25]


After founding SendGrid in Riverside, CA in July 2009, Saldana, Lopez, and Jenkins enrolled the startup in the TechStars accelerator program and moved the company to Boulder, CO.[7][9][26][27][28] By December 2009, the company announced it had raised $750,000 in a funding round led by Highway 12 Ventures.[18] Other participating investors included SoftTech VC, FF Angel, and TechStars founder David Cohen.[18]

In April 2010, the email software-as-a-service (SaaS) company received $5 million in Series A round funding from Foundry Group, SoftTech VC, and Highway 12 Ventures, as well as individual investors including David Cohen, Scott Petry, Dave McClure, and Matt Mullenweg.[21][29] Ryan McIntyre, the co-founder of Foundry, joined SendGrid’s board of directors at this time as well.[21]

In January 2012, SendGrid raised $21 million in Series B funding.[10][13][24][30][31][32][33] The funding round – led by Bessemer Venture Partners and previous investors Highway 12 Ventures, Foundry Group, 500 Startups, and TechStars – occurred concurrently with a new partnership between SendGrid and Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform.[8][13][20][24][33]

Growth and development[edit]

Former Oracle executive Jim Franklin joined SendGrid as the CEO in March 2011.[1][34]

The company announced in May 2011 that it had sent out over 9 billion emails for more than 23,000 companies since its founding.[23] In the same month, SendGrid announced a partnership with web host service Rackspace Hosting that allows Rackspace users to launch email campaigns using SendGrid’s software.[5][20][22]

By January 2012, the service reported that it was sending out 2.6 billion personalized emails per month.[10][30][32] By March, the company was experiencing 10% monthly growth.[20]

SendGrid announced in June 2012 that it was working with 60,000 businesses and had sent out a total of 45 billion emails since its start in 2009.[10]

On July 25, 2012, the company reported it had partnered with Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) companies CloudBees, Heroku, and Engine Yard.[13] The company opened its Denver office the following October.[7][12][15]

In December 2012, SendGrid teamed up with Twilio to incorporate SMS and push notification services to its platform.[13][35] The company announced integrations with Parse, Windows Azure, and StackMob the same month.[36] In April 2013, SendGrid announced it had sent over 100 billion emails.[37] That June, the company released its new email marketing service.[38][39][40] The service allows marketing professionals and non-technical users to create emails using various newsletter templates and features a drag-and-drop template to fill in content.[39][40]

Awards and recognition[edit]

AlwaysOn announced its OnDemand Ones to Watch 2011 in March 2011, and featured SendGrid among the 16-company list.[27]

In June 2012, SendGrid was a winner in the Red Herring Top 100 North America and made the Colorado Companies to Watch 2012 list.[41][42] CEO Jim Franklin won the Colorado Technology Association’s Technology Community Connector of the year award in October 2012.[43] The company made The Denver Post’s Top 10 Places to Work, Small Employers list in 2013.[44]


  1. ^ a b Leena Rao (March 9, 2011). "SendGrid Sends 7.5 Million Emails, Brings Former Oracle Exec As CEO". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ "TechStars Incubator Hatches 10 New Companies". TechCrunch accessdate=August 13, 2013. August 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ Dana Oshiro (September 30, 2009). "TechStars Investor Day Hits a Home Run". ReadWrite. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ "SendGrid raises $21M in VC; Microsoft to partner". Denver Business Journal. January 17, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "How SendGrid Makes Sure Those App Emails Go Through, With Jim Franklin". TechRockies. November 13, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Ben Kuo (November 16, 2012). "Ten of Southern California's Top Software Companies". socalTECH. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Sprouter (October 31, 2012). "Just do it: Ideas are worthless unless you execute them, startup founder says". Financial Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Sarah Kuta (February 12, 2012). "From unlimited burritos to on-site yoga, Boulder firms pile on perks". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Brad McCarty (May 16, 2013). "Startup Stories: SendGrid shares its passion for fixing email". The Next Web. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Leena Rao (January 17, 2012). "Bessemer Leads 21m Round In Cloud-Based Email Delivery And Management Service SendGrid". TechCrunch accessdate=August 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Sean Ludwig (February 18, 2013). "10 Boulder startups we're excited about". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Andy Vuong (November 5, 2012). "Could downtown Denver be the next Silicon Valley?". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Sean Ludwig (July 25, 2012). "SendGrid partners with Heroku, Engine Yard, & others on email management". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ Sean Ludwig (December 4, 2012). "Cloud tag team: SendGrid and Twilio partner on email, SMS, and voicemail solutions for the enterprise". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Greg Avery (August 10, 2012). "Boulder's SendGrid opening Denver office". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (August 2, 2011). "SendGrid Is Sending 2 Billion Emails Per Month And Just Getting Started". Business Insider. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Ingrid Lunden (June 29, 2012). "Inbox Alert: SendGrid Sends 45B Emails For 60,000 Customers, 20B In 2012 Alone". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Leena Rao (December 8, 2009). "SendGrid Raises $750K for Email Delivery Software". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  19. ^ Stephanie Miles (August 1, 2012). "SendGrid: Reliable Email Delivery for Businesses". AppVita. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c d e Julie Bort (March 1, 2012). "All Those Emails From Pinterest Are Very Good For This Guy". Business Insider. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c Evelyn Rusli (April 20, 2010). "SendGrid Raises $5 Million, Sends A Bajillion Emails". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Nicole Henderson (May 19, 2011). "Web Host Rackspace Partners with Email Infrastructure Provider SendGrid". TheWhir. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Rip Empson (May 10, 2011). "Email Delivery System SendGrid Announces New Pricing Model, Now You Can Pay-As-You-Go". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c Bambi Francisco Roizen (January 17, 2012). "SendGrid gets $21m in capital, led by Bessemer". Vator. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ Alan Shimel. "SendGrid employee's tweet sets off firestorm". Denver Post. Retrieved Sep 25, 2013. 
  26. ^ Alan Shimel (July 11, 2013). "Boulder Startup Spotlight: SendGrid, an American success story". NetworkWorld. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b Martin Tantow (March 19, 2011). "The Top 100 Cloud Computing Private Companies". CloudTimes. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Techstars Boulder Companies SendGrid and Retel Announce Financings". Feld. December 10, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  29. ^ Alastair Goldfisher (May 4, 2010). "TechStars startup SendGrid raises $5 million". Reuters. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b Alicia Wallace (January 18, 2012). "Boulder startup SendGrid raises $21 million". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  31. ^ Dan Primack (January 18, 2012). "Venture capital deals". CNN Money. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  32. ^ a b Liz Gannes (January 17, 2012). "SendGrid Raises $21M to Send Even More Emails". Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Ryan Kim (January 17, 2012). "Email is still hot: Why SendGrid got $21M in VC funds". Gigaom. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  34. ^ Andrew Bonar (March 16, 2011). "Jim Franklin Joins SendGrid from Oracle". EmailExpert. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  35. ^ Harrison Weber (December 4, 2012). "SendGrid and Twilio team up to offer email, SMS, voice and push notifications for the enterprise market". The Next Web. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  36. ^ Barb Darrow (December 13, 2012). "SendGrid adds Parse, Stackmob, Azure integrations". Gigaom. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  37. ^ Denise Hulce (April 29, 2013). "9 Best practice tips for marketing emails". FourthSource. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  38. ^ Sean Ludwig (June 18, 2013). "SendGrid launches email marketing service that undercuts MailChimp & Constant Contact". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  39. ^ a b Barb Darrow (June 18, 2013). "SendGrid picks fight with heavyweight MailChimp in email marketing". Gigaom. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  40. ^ a b Kristina Knight (June 18, 2013). "SendGrid launches email service". BizReport. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  41. ^ "2012 Colorado Companies to Watch Awardees". Colorado Companies to Watch. 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  42. ^ "America's 2012 Top 100". Red Herring. 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  43. ^ Catharine Lurie (October 31, 2012). "Jim Franklin, CEO of SendGrid Wins 2012 Technology Community Connector of the Year". Colorado Technology Association. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Colorado Top Workplaces 2013". The Denver Post. 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 

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