Sailthru Raises $19 Million, Expands Ops In U.S., Globally

Neil-Capel-A2Sailthru, which specializes in content personalization, has closed $19 million in a Series B venture round led by Benchmark, but including prior investors RRE, DFJ Gotham and AOL Ventures. The funding brings the company’s total raised to date to $28 million.

New York-based Sailthru plans to use the new capital to expand staffing, accelerate product development, and continue to enlarge operations in the U.S. and internationally.

“We are increasing the size of the team in engineering, account management, marketing…it’s all about expansion so we can continue to improve our products and offer more products,” said Sailthru CEO Neil Capel.

The company’s technology allows clients such as The Huffington Post, Fab and Thrillist to send behaviorally targeted email newsletters, as well as offer tailored Web site content, recommendations and e-commerce services based on users’ browsing habits and preferences.



Sailthru typically enters into one-year, software-as-a-service (SaaS) contracts with clients, based on their volume of e-mail and Web site traffic. By delivering content personalized for individual users, the company says business customers have seen a three to five times increase in open rates and more than a 200% uptick in time spent on sites.

Sailthru has filed for a trademark for the term “Smart Data” to describe its approach to targeting that relies on automated collection and analysis of first-party data to customize client communications in real-time. “As opposed to the normal amalgamation of data sets into some Big Data repository where it’s looked at and then humans make decisions,” said Capel.

Through its focus on providing highly personalized content, Capel said Sailthru increased revenue 270% in 2012, with an average monthly growth rate of 9%. The company recently opened a San Francisco office and plans to expand in Europe in the second quarter.

Sailthru’s headcount has roughly doubled to 85 since mid-2012, and Capel expects the sales staff alone will double in size this year. 

The company’s growth was accelerated last year through a pair of acquisitions. It bought Frame, which makes software allowing e-commerce businesses to optimize their Web presence for the iPad, and Seamless Receipts, which offers retailers tools for creating targeted promotions and tracking shopper analytics.

Capel said the company had no further acquisition plans at present, but that it was interested in creating more tools for boosting engagement across social media and mobile platforms. “Everything, when it comes down to it, is going mobile, and we just really need to focus on making that as relevant an experience as possible.”


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