SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia said Bizzy's "4H culture of being happy, humble, hungry and honest" aligns with his company's.
SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia said Bizzy's culture of being happy, humble, hungry and honest aligns with his own vision. PHOTO: JD Lasica

SendGrid, a customer communication platform that delivers more than 30 billion emails each month, just acquired email marketing automation startup Bizzy.

The acquisition announced gives the Denver-based email provider and MailChimp competitor a tool that leverages an algorithm to segment users based on purchase behaviors.

SendGrid officials said they acquired an "extremely talented team" of MarTech veterans with "deep expertise" in building an email marketing product. Bizzy's team "will help accelerate our email marketing product roadmap and bring new capabilities to SendGrid Marketing Campaigns," Steve Sloan, chief product officer at SendGrid, told CMSWire.

SendGrid Marketing Campaigns loads contacts, creates segments, creates and sends campaigns, and analyzes performance.

Bizzy: A 5-Person Team

Bizzy brings to SendGrid a five-person team to give the company 372 employees. Bizzy CEO Jennifer Kessler founded the company in 2013 along with Chiara McPhee, now chief operating officer.

On her LinkedIn profile, Kessler describes Bizzy's goal as democratizing access "to good behavioral marketing," adding "email marketing is only the beginning." The company is backed by Y Combinator.

“Since Bizzy’s inception," Kessler said, "we’ve been hyper-focused on helping marketers cut the noise and send campaigns that are proven to drive conversions.”

McPhee, a former business analyst at Accenture, has developed sales and marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies as well as venture-backed start-ups.

McPhee likes SendGrid for its "keen ability to similarly drive customer communications that drive engagement and business growth with unmatched deliverability, reliability, scalability and customer service."

New Roles for the Bizzy Team

Kessler is now director of product management for SendGrid Marketing Campaigns. McPhee is director of product management for SendGrid Labs.

Three other Bizzy employees — Paul Booth, Cassidy Kelly and Jeffrey Zhao — are now software engineers for SendGrid Marketing Campaigns.

The Bizzy team brings SendGrid "a deep understanding of the challenges faced by marketers," Sloan said.

He added the integration of Bizzy’s expertise will "help us make it even easier for marketers to create campaigns that cut the noise and drive engagement and business growth."

Officials said SendGrid has sent 9 billion emails via Marketing Campaigns since the product was launched last year. About 5,000 customers use it and have sent more than 19 million email campaigns.

Email Marketing Remains Strong

This is SendGrid's second acquisition. The team acquired the customer base of fellow email provider Mega Bus in 2015.

Despite the proliferation of collaboration tools, email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020, according to the Radicatti Group (PDF).

When his company closed a $33 million round of funding in December, SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia noted his platform's daily email output is two times the volume of the activity on Twitter. SendGrid has raised $80.36 million in six rounds from 14 investors.

Competitors are not sitting still. In 2015, NetSuite bought for $200 million Bronto, another email marketing vendor.

MailChimp in January ventured out of its email marketing comfort zone with a Facebook advertising integration. MailChimp officials said customers wanted the Atlanta-based provider to "take the MailChimp magic to other marketing channels."