Sendlane raises $ 20 million to convert shoppers into loyal customers

Sendlane, a San Diego-based multi-channel marketing automation platform, announced Thursday that it raised $ 20 million in Series A funding.

Five Elms Capital, Blueprint Equity and others invested in the round to provide Sendlane with total funding of $ 23 million since the company was founded in 2018.

Although the company officially started three years ago, co-founder and CEO Jimmy Kim told TechCrunch that he began working on the idea in 2013 with two other co-founders.

They were all email marketers in different lines of business, but they had something in common in that they all used email tools that they didn’t like. The ones that did like them were priced too high for a small business, Kim said. They set out to build their own email marketing automation platform for clients who wanted to do more than email campaigns and newsletters.

When two other companies Kim was involved with came out in 2017, he decided to put both feet in Sendlane to build it on a system that maximized revenue based on insights and integrations.

In late 2018, the company attracted seed funding from Zing Capital and decided in 2019 to turn to e-commerce. “Based on our personal backgrounds and looking at the clients we work with, we realized that this is what we do best,” Kim said.

Today, more than 1,700 e-commerce companies use the Sendlane platform to convert more than 100 points of their customer data (abandoned carts, which products are selling best, and which marketing channel is working) into engaging communications aimed at drive customer loyalty. The company said it can increase customer revenue by between 20% and 40% on average.

The business itself is growing 100% year over year and earning more than $ 7 million in annual recurring revenue. It currently has 54 employees right now, and Kim expects to have about 90 by the end of the year and 150 by the end of 2022. Sendlane currently has more than 20 job openings, he said.

That current and potential growth was a driver for Kim to seek Series A funding. He said Sendlane turned profitable last year, which is why it hasn’t raised much money so far. However, as the rapid adoption of e-commerce continues, Kim wants to be ready for the next wave of competition, which he expects next year.

He considers companies like ActiveCampaign and Klaviyo to be online with Sendlane, but says that the differentiator of his company is customer service, with short wait times and chats that answer questions in less than 15 seconds.

You’re also ready to go after the next vision, which is unifying data and insights to create meaningful interactions between customers and retailers.

“We want to start creating a new space,” added Kim. “We have a host of new products coming out in the next 12 to 18 months and we want to be the single source of customer journey data insights that provide flexibility for your business to grow.”

The next two tools include Audiences, which will unify customer data and provide insights, and an SMS product for two-way communications and campaign-level-enabled delivery.


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