Colorado Companies to Watch spotlight: SendGrid

Snapshot: The cloud-based service SendGrid developed solves the challenge of SMTP email delivery by delivering emails on behalf of companies. SendGrid currently sends more than 3 billion emails per month for nearly 40,000 customers in more than 150 countries. By taking care of their email, SendGrid allows companies to focus on their core business.

Leadership: Jim Franklin, formerly of Oracle, became CEO of SendGrid last year. The Boulder-based company was founded in 2009.

Work force: SendGrid has grown from four full-time-equivalent employees in 2009 to 19 in 2010 to 67 last year. The company is projecting further growth to 120 employees in 2012.

Pivotal moment: SendGrid began with three engineers who were frustrated when emails from their applications didn’t get delivered to their customers’ inbox. They built a cloud-based infrastructure that not only solved their own problem, but the same problem shared by engineers around the world. This team of visionaries, led by Isaac Saldana, understood that the transactional email space was under-served and ripe for the picking. SendGrid raised a $21 million series B round of funding in January, allowing it to bolster its team, expand internationally and continue to evolve its core service.

Competitive Edge: SendGrid offers a scalable email infrastructure, provides end-to-end metrics from delivery to response on outgoing email and handles the time-consuming tasks involved with implementing unsubscribe links, abiding by anti-spam regulations and maintaining corporate branding.