Investors, take note: You can quote all the surveys you want. But there’s no better proof of the strength of email than the interest of Bain Capital Ventures.
“Email has all the benefits of being completely open,” said Ajay Agarwal, managing director at Bain Capital Ventures, in an interview. “The provider is not acting as a gatekeeper in any way, shape or form.”
Bain is in a position to know. Last November, it led a $33 funding round for SendGrid, an email platform provider. “We were a small investor in the company, and we chose to lead a growth round this past fall,” Agarwal said.
So how does Bain feel now, five months in?
“We feel like the sky’s the limit in terms of the potential of this company,” Agarwal answered. “SendGrid is an end-to-end platform, which we liked. We see growth and success.”
He added that “you have an ecosystem of firms around SendGrid, and there’s a lot of richness in that ecosystem. A lot of entrepreneurs are working on email technology.”
“Boomtrain works on the SendGrid platform,” he answered. “And there are companies working on email rendering, like Litmus, and companies working on creative, like Stencil. There are companies focused on segmentation.”
Agarwal noted that there are “dozens of companies in each of these buckets, and new ones being formed all the time. That’s what’s exciting.”
Does that imply investment or mergers for those companies, led by Bain? Agarwal didn’t say. But he continued with his praise of email.
First, as he said, it’s open. “If I’m a company and I want to send a message, I’m not going through anyone else’s platform, I’m not going through Facebook or Twitter — I’m going directly to that customer,” he commented.
Email is also universal. “Anyone who is conducting business digitally has an email address and wants to receive confirmations and passwords,” Agarwal continued.
Finally, he said, “Email is free for the user. There’s no other digital channel that hits all of those criteria.”