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Industry Technology
Founded 2009
Founder Isaac Saladana, Jose Lopez, Tim Jenkins
Headquarters Boulder, Colorado, United States
Key people
Sameer Dholakia (CEO)[1]

SendGrid is a Boulder, Colorado-based transactional email delivery and management service.[2][3][4][5][6][7] The company was founded by Isaac Saldana, Jose Lopez, and Tim Jenkins in 2009, and incubated through the TechStars accelerator program.[8][9][10][11] As of 2013, SendGrid has raised over $27 million and has offices in Boulder, Denver, Orange, California, and London, and operations in New York City and San Francisco.[7][11][12][13][14][15][16]


SendGrid provides a cloud-based email delivery service that assists businesses with email delivery.[6][8][17][18] 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.[12][19][20][21] Additionally, the company provides link tracking, open rate reporting.[19] It also allows companies to track email opens, unsubscribes, bounces, and spam reports.[6][19][22] Beginning in 2012, the company integrated SMS, voice, and push notification abilities to its service through a partnership with Twilio.[14]

SendGrid offers a freemium version and a Lite Plan (pay-as-you-go), as well as three expanded levels of service: Essentials, Pro, and Premier.[6][23][24]

SendGrid’s clients include Uber, Twilio, Foursquare, Pandora, and Airbnb.[12][18][21][25]


The controversial firing of Adria Richards in March 2013 and the surrounding circumstances became known as Donglegate.


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.[8][10][26][27][28] By December 2009, the company announced it had raised $750,000 in a funding round led by Highway 12 Ventures.[19] Other participating investors included SoftTech VC, FF Angel, and TechStars founder David Cohen.[19]

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.[22][29] Ryan McIntyre, the co-founder of Foundry, joined SendGrid’s board of directors at this time as well.[22]

In January 2012, SendGrid raised $21 million in Series B funding.[11][14][25][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.[9][14][21][25][33]

Growth and development[edit]

Former Oracle executive Jim Franklin joined SendGrid as the CEO in March 2011.[2][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.[24] 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.[6][21][23]

By January 2012, the service reported that it was sending out 2.6 billion personalized emails per month.[11][30][32] By March, the company was experiencing 10% monthly growth.[21]

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.[11]

On July 25, 2012, the company reported it had partnered with Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) companies CloudBees, Heroku, and Engine Yard.[14] The company opened its Denver office the following October.[8][13][16]

In December 2012, SendGrid teamed up with Twilio to incorporate SMS and push notification services to its platform.[14][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. ^ SendGrid. "SendGrid Appoints Sameer Dholakia as New CEO". Retrieved 2016-04-25. 
  2. ^ a b Leena Rao (March 9, 2011). "SendGrid Sends 7.5 Million Emails, Brings Former Oracle Exec As CEO". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ "TechStars Incubator Hatches 10 New Companies". TechCrunch. August 6, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ Dana Oshiro (September 30, 2009). "TechStars Investor Day Hits a Home Run". ReadWrite. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "SendGrid raises $21M in VC; Microsoft to partner". Denver Business Journal. January 17, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b Ben Kuo (November 16, 2012). "Ten of Southern California's Top Software Companies". socalTECH. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ a b Brad McCarty (May 16, 2013). "Startup Stories: SendGrid shares its passion for fixing email". The Next Web. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Leena Rao (January 17, 2012). "Bessemer Leads 21m Round In Cloud-Based Email Delivery And Management Service SendGrid". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c Sean Ludwig (February 18, 2013). "10 Boulder startups we're excited about". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Andy Vuong (November 5, 2012). "Could downtown Denver be the next Silicon Valley?". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ a b Greg Avery (August 10, 2012). "Boulder's SendGrid opening Denver office". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (August 2, 2011). "SendGrid Is Sending 2 Billion Emails Per Month And Just Getting Started". Business Insider. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Leena Rao (December 8, 2009). "SendGrid Raises $750K for Email Delivery Software". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ Stephanie Miles (August 1, 2012). "SendGrid: Reliable Email Delivery for Businesses". AppVita. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ a b c Evelyn Rusli (April 20, 2010). "SendGrid Raises $5 Million, Sends A Bajillion Emails". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Nicole Henderson (May 19, 2011). "Web Host Rackspace Partners with Email Infrastructure Provider SendGrid". TheWhir. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ a b c Bambi Francisco Roizen (January 17, 2012). "SendGrid gets $21m in capital, led by Bessemer". Vator. Retrieved August 13, 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. 

External links[edit]