Bessemer Leads $21M Round In Cloud-Based Email Delivery And Management Service SendGrid

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SendGrid, an email delivery and management service, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors Foundry Group, Highway 12 Ventures, SoftTechVC, 500 Startups and Bullet Time Ventures also participated in the round. This brings the company’s total funding to $26 million.

SendGrid, which was incubated in TechStars and has raised $5 million in funding, offers businesses a way to manage transactional emails (emails generated by web applications). SendGrid’s cloud-based SMTP platform provides a secure and scalable infrastructure that solves core transactional email deliverability issues, allowing companies to outsource these challenges and remain organized.

It can handle services like subscription, bounce management and complaint feedback. SendGrid also offers analytics to clients, allowing users to track requests, bounces, spam reports, invalid email requests, click tracking, unsubscribes and more.

Its service is aimed towards business who send out 100K emails per month or millions of emails. Clients include Foursquare, Spotify, Twilio, Airbnb, Pinterest, Path and Hootsuite. Plans range from free to $400 per month. The company also offers a pay-as-you-go plan as well.

SendGrid now sends 2.6 billion emails per month for customers in more than 150 countries and tracks and reports more than 400 million events per day. In total, SendGrid has sent 26 billion emails on behalf of clients. The company nearly tripled its customer base (to 40,000) in 2011 alone.

The company is also announcing a new partnership with Windows Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise cloud platform for building, hosting and scaling web applications. SendGrid’s email infrastructure will be integrated with Windows Azure and customers can access a free package, with 25,000 free emails each month, as part of the initial sign-up. SendGrid has a similar partnership in place with RackSpace.

As CEO Jim Franklin explains, “we want to be the go-to company for transactional email.” Franklin joined the company nearly a year ago, and was formerly Vice President of Enterprise Performance Management at Oracle.

SendGrid faces competition from Amazon Web Services and AuthSmtp.

Franklin says the new funding will be used to make the product feature set more robust, hiring more developers, expanding operations, and towards improving the customers experience. The company is also eying international expansion as well.