Marketing automation startup SendinBlue today announced a $160 million funding round. A company spokesperson says the money will be put toward accelerating go-to-market efforts as it adapts to growth during the pandemic.
Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders aimed at beating back the novel coronavirus have forced marketers to fully embrace digital. According to a report published by The CMO Survey, some 60.8% of respondents indicated they’ve “shifted resources to building customer-facing digital interfaces” and 56.2% transformed their businesses to focus on digital opportunities. Moreover, marketers reported customers’ increased openness to digital offerings introduced during the pandemic and said they were likely to see greater value in digital experiences.
SendinBlue, which was cofounded by Polytechnique graduate Armand Thiberge in 2012, competes with companies like Mailchimp and offers solutions aimed at expediting common marketing tasks. Initially focused on email, the company pivoted to address businesses’ increased demand for online acquisition and loyalty tools. Using its pipelines, clients can start by sending newsletters before diving deeper with templates and chat tools that tie into their websites. SendinBlue says these products were designed to be easy for marketers to use and are aimed at companies in industries like hospitality, construction, ecommerce, and manufacturing.
SendinBlue’s platform provides a range of email, SMS, and chat messaging tools, as well as integrations with existing customer relationship management systems. Via transactional email and segmentation, customers can set up the design, engagement, and discoverability of messages and send messages in a more targeted way. With landing pages, signup forms, and retargeting, those customers can create more targeted visitor experiences and grow their email contact list while showing ads to websites visitors as they browse other websites.
But SendinBlue’s real differentiator lies in automation. Leveraging AI and machine learning, the company’s MailClark email bot extracts relevant content from emails, prequalifies them, and handles specific actions to optimize response time. Customers can use MailClark within the platform or integrate it with third-party apps via an API.
SendinBlue claims it achieved 60% year-over-year growth even before the pandemic. But between March and June, the company saw a 50% uptick in business and reached more than 180,000 customers across over 160 countries. With 70% of SendinBlue’s revenue coming from abroad, Thiberge says he now plans to focus on international expansion. The startup recently opened its first office in Toronto, bringing its total number of offices to five and its headcount to over 400.
SendinBlue raised $33 million in September 2017. This latest round, which was led by Bridgepoint Development Capital and BPI, brings the startup’s total raised to nearly $200 million.