Sendinblue raises $160 million to automate repetitive marketing tasks

Sendinblue, a marketing automation startup founded in 2012, today announced that it raised $160 million. A company spokesperson says it will be put toward accelerating Sendinblue’s go-to-market efforts as the company experiences 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 increased openness among customers to new digital offerings introduced during the pandemic and greater perceived value in digital experiences.

Sendinblue, which was cofounded by Polytechnique graduate Armand Thiberge, competes with companies like Mailchimp and offers solutions aimed at expediting common marketing tasks. Initially focused on email, the company pivoted to address increased demand from businesses 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 accessible and used by marketers without technical knowledge, so that they appeal to a range of 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. And 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 differentiator lies in automation. Leveraging AI and machine learning, the company’s email bot — MailClark — extracts relevant content from emails, prequalifies them, and handles certain actions to optimize response time. Sendinblue customers can use MailClark either within the platform or integrate it with third-party apps via an API.

Even before the pandemic, Sendinblue claims it achieved 60% year-over-year growth. But between March and June, the company saw a 50% uptick in business and reached over 180,000 customers across over 160 countries. With 70% of Sendinblue’s revenue coming from abroad, Thiberge says he plans to focus on international expansion. Just recently, the startup opened its first office in Toronto, bringing its total number of offices to five and its headcount to over 400 people.

Sendinblue previously 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.

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