The $ 15 billion battle to reach your email inbox


A flurry of deals saw $ 15 billion spent on email marketing startups like Mailchimp with Sinch of Sweden which signed Pathwire’s latest acquisition for $ 1.9 billion. The deal, signed on Thursday, also marks Sinch as emerging from a group of European startups that aim to challenge Twilio, which has built a $ 56 billion business by fueling emails and texts for Lyft, Airbnb and Instacart. .

Sinch will take over the Mailgun and Mailjet messaging platforms, which are competitors of Mailchimp and Sparkpost, as part of the cash and equity deal with private equity fund Thoma Bravo. U.S. tax giant Intuit acquired Mailchimp for $ 12 billion last month, while another Twilio challenger, MessageBird, bought Sparkpost for $ 600 million in April.

These deals followed Twilio’s playbook of moving from text feed, push notifications, and business calls to focusing on your inbox with a $ 3 billion takeover of the platform. form of SendGrid email marketing in 2018.

“Together with Pathwire, we will be able to deliver a cutting-edge product set, across messaging, voice and email, that enables businesses and developers to create an unmatched digital customer experience,” Oscar said. Werner, CEO of Sinch.

More and more small businesses are relying on email marketing and newsletters sent through platforms such as Mailchimp, Sparkpost and Mailjet to connect with customers as the cost of marketing through paid search and advertising on social media has skyrocketed. Messaging platforms have also proved invaluable for companies like Twilio, Sinch, Dutch unicorn Messagebird and Infobip in Croatia, which provide the messy plumbing that allows Uber WhatsApp to update their drivers in Uganda or checks. SMS connection to Airbnb guests and hosts in Tanzania.

Mailgun has a complicated ownership history, but was separated from Rackspace in a $ 50 million deal in 2017, and acquired by private equity fund Thoma Bravo in 2019. Sinch has acquired a series of companies last year Intel for $ 1.1 billion, MessageMedia for $ 1.3 billion and MessengerPeople for $ 48 million. The deals came after SoftBank bought an approximate 10% stake in the company for $ 690 million in December. The Swedish company is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm with a valuation of $ 14.2 billion.

Sinch has seen its share price skyrocket by around 477% to $ 19.5 per share (SEK 171), while Twilio’s has nearly quadrupled to $ 321 per share since the start of the pandemic. There is also speculation that Messagebird and Infobip have plans for a public list.

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