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Email marketer SendGrid up 13% following IPO

Katie Roof
Marketing email company SendGrid had a decent first day on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Marketing email company SendGrid had a decent first day on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. After pricing shares at $16, the company closed at $18.03, or up almost 13%.

The Denver-based company had raised $131 million after pricing its IPO at $16, above the expected range of $13.50 to $15.50. SendGrid also upsized its IPO, selling 8.2 million shares, instead of 7.7 million.

SendGrid helps businesses like Spotify or Airbnb send email confirmations, password reminders and more. The company says it has processed more than a trillion emails, including over a billion per day.

Sameer Dholaki, CEO at SendGrid told TechCrunch that most of the company's growth is organic. Customers are usually coming to SendGrid's website on their own volition, without having been approached by sales reps.

The customers start out with a free trial and then end up paying a monthly fee to use SendGrid services. SendGrid competes with SparkPost, MailChimp and divisions of Amazon, Oracle and Salesforce, but Dholaki likes to think SendGrid has the "Kleenex" brand, or the most known name in the business.

Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, said he invested in SendGrid because "email is the fundamental backbone of business communications and that’s not changing anytime soon." SendGrid "manages scale and reliability in an unparalleled way."

Revenue for 2016 was $79.9 million, compared with $58.5 million in 2015 and $42.3 million the year before. The business is unprofitable, losing $3.9 million last year, compared to $5.9 million in 2015.

According to the “risk factors” section of the IPO filing, SendGrid warns that “if we are unable to maintain consistent revenue or revenue growth, our stock price could be volatile or decline, and we may not achieve or maintain profitability.”

The company raised at least $80 million in venture funding, dating back to 2009. The largest shareholders prior to the IPO were Foundry Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Highway 12 Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures. SendGrid got its start in a Techstars accelerator in Boulder, Colorado. Says Dholaki, SendGrid is "hoping to really get Colorado tech on the map."