The CEO of a $740 million email company that just had an IPO explains what it takes to go public
- Email marketing company SendGrid went public Wednesday morning, raising $131 million.
- Shares priced at $16 and rose above $18 by Wednesday afternoon.
- CEO Sameer Dholakia spoke with Business Insider about what it took to get the company to this point.
If you've ever reserved a night through Airbnb, a meal through OpenTable, or received a list of personalized song suggestions from Spotify, chances are that email came via a little known Denver-based startup called SendGrid.
SendGrid, which graduated from the TechStars accelerator back in 2009, just went public on the the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday morning, raising $131 million to continue its quest for inbox domination.Business Insider caught up with CEO Sameer Dholakia just a few hours after he and his colleagues rang the opening bell to celebrate the initial public offering. He says the process was exhausting, but that he's looking forward to the next chapter after being a private company for eight years.
"It's been insane but also insanely fun," Dholakia said by phone of the pre-IPO process. "What's hard is your days are stacked. You start at 7:30 in the morning and are going until the last meeting ends late in the evening. You're probably in at least two cities on any given day, sometimes three. It's certainly not for the faint of heart."
His work appears to have paid off. In its first day of trading, SendGrind opened at $18.55, or roughly 16% above the $16 IPO price.
Prior to its IPO, SendGrid raised over $80 million in venture funding from Bain Capital, Bessemer Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures and the Foundry Group. The company is already profitable by its own non-GAAP measures, Dhollakia says, and raked in about $100 million of revenue in the last year.
Dholakia and SendGrid co-founder Isaac Saldana own 1.51% and 4.38% of the company respectfully, according to SEC filings. That could easily make both founders into millionaires, depending on the stock's price after the SEC's lockup period expires, and if they decide to sell any of their shares.
2017 has been a hot year for IPOs around the world
20 tech companies went public around the world in the third quarter of 2017, according to PwC data. In the US, however, fortunes haven't been as bright.Of the notable US tech IPOs this year, both Snap and Blue Apron have seen their stock prices decline sharply since going public. Video streaming company Roku, on the other hand, has seen its stock price more than double since it's September IPO.
As for his favorite emails to read each morning, Dholakia says he loves The Hustle, a daily newsletter of tech news and entrepreneurial inspiration.
"I think email will outlive us all," Dholakia said. "It is an extraordinarily efficient channel of communication. I deeply believe it remains the center of gravity for digital communication. For many of us, we change home addresses more frequently than our personal email address."