Top Company 2014: Technology
Technology winner: SendGrid (Watch a video about SendGrid.)
SendGrid works to make sure emails from Pinterest, Uber and Foursquare get into peoples’ inboxes, and scams stay out. The Denver-based company celebrated its fifth anniversary in July.
“It was a fantastic year,” says CEO Jim Franklin. “Revenue was up 75 percent over the previous year, and we have over 200 employees.” That’s up from 157 employees in June 2013.
Franklin believes that success will continue because the service is based on subscriptions. Calling itself the “email deliverability leader,” SendGrid attracts companies that want large volumes of email managed. Foursquare, for example, sends 2 million emails a day to tell its users about friend requests or updates. Uber sends tips to its users on how not to be fooled into getting a ride from a non-Uber car.
“We add people to our service, and their businesses are growing,” Franklin says. “This year we will see another 50 percent increase and will be in a position to go public in 2015 if we so choose.”
Today SendGrid’s biggest client is Pinterest. SendGrid not only sends emails, but also provides clients information on whether emails are received, when they are opened, and what device they are opened on.
Of course Pinterest users presumably want to get those emails. SendGrid makes sure potential clients are not sending spam. “Our goal is to send the world’s wanted email,” Franklin says. “They have to apply for an account. We look at their LinkedIn profile, and we have 30 people in our support group that do 24/7 phone and email support and vet new accounts.”
If a would-be client says it is based in Colorado, the system can tell the emails are coming from, for example, Pakistan. That would be a fail, he says. The system has algorithms to uncover bad behavior, such as inappropriate mail, or a sudden spike in volume. “We will basically freeze your account, and you have to call us and get reactivated,” Franklin says. “We’re sniffing out the bad guys.”
They are also sniffing out future talent. The company tries to get kids interested in programming through events such as Sphero Rangers, which sponsored a robotics competition, and helps startups through Galvanize, a community of mentors, investors and others supporting technology startups.
Franklin expects business to remain strong in the future because customers tend to subscribe and then stay. “Our metrics are incredibly steady,” he says. “We have a low churn rate. People don’t leave. We have tremendous predictability and momentum.”
SolidFire is the market leader in all-flash storage systems built for the next-generation data center. Since January of last year, the company has grown its staff by 70 percent, announced a new regional headquarters in Singapore and grown its customer count by 400 percent. Also in this time, SolidFire introduced a third edition of its product line of all-flash scale-out storage systems designed for large-scale public and private cloud infrastructures. The company announced the addition of 11 new service-provider customers in December 2013 alone.
NewCloud Networks, a cloud computing and communications company, has served more than 4,000 Colorado-based businesses since its founding in 1988, and has grown to become a national cloud-services provider. The enterprise began as Microtech-Tel and was a traditional telecommunications company that diversified as technology evolved. Today the firm’s focus is small-medium businesses. NewCloud specializes in the deployment of agile and flexible virtualized services that make IT operations faster, more efficient and more cost-effective. Its services are hosted from a state-of-the-art data center in the Denver Tech Center. One of the company’s greatest value propositions for customers is the geographic security of Colorado because the area has a low likelihood of natural disasters.