Marketing automation startup SendinBlue today announced a $ 160 million financing round. A company spokesman says the money will be used to accelerate go-to-market efforts as it adapts to growth during the pandemic.

Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders aimed to fight back the novel coronavirus have forced marketers to focus entirely on digital. According to a report published by The CMO Survey, 60.8% of respondents said they had “shifted resources to building customer-centric digital interfaces,” and 56.2% had redesigned their business to focus on digital opportunities. Additionally, marketers reported the increased openness of customers to digital offerings launched during the pandemic, saying they were likely to see greater value for digital experiences.

SendinBlue, which was co-founded in 2012 by Armand Thiberge, a Polytechnique graduate, competes with companies like Mailchimp and offers solutions to accelerate joint marketing tasks. The company originally focused on email and focused on meeting the increased demand from businesses for online acquisition and loyalty tools. The pipelines allow customers to send newsletters first before delving deeper into templates and chat tools linked to their websites. According to SendinBlue, these products are easy to use for marketers and are aimed at companies in industries such as hospitality, construction, e-commerce, and manufacturing.

SendinBlue’s platform offers a range of email, SMS and chat messaging tools as well as integrations with existing customer relationship management systems. Transactional email and segmentation allow customers to set up the design, interaction, and findability of messages and send messages in a more targeted manner. Landing pages, sign-up forms, and retargeting allow these customers to create more targeted visitor experiences and expand their email contact list while serving ads to website visitors as they browse other websites.

However, the real differentiator of SendinBlue is automation. The company’s MailClark email bot uses AI and machine learning, extracts relevant content from emails, pre-qualifies them, and takes certain actions to optimize response time. Customers can use MailClark within the platform or integrate it into third-party apps via an API.

SendinBlue claims to have grown 60% year over year even before the pandemic. Between March and June, the company saw business grow 50%, reaching more than 180,000 customers in over 160 countries. With 70% of SendinBlue’s sales coming from abroad, Thiberge now plans to focus on international expansion. The startup recently opened its first office in Toronto, increasing the total number of offices to five and the number of employees to over 400.

Sendin Blue

SendinBlue raised $ 33 million in September 2017. This final round, led by Bridgepoint Development Capital and BPI, brings the startup’s grand total to nearly $ 200 million.

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