Cloud emailing provider Mailjet picks up $3.3m for growth

The French cloud emailing platform Mailjet has just picked up $3.3m in funding, which it intends to use to shore up international growth.

Mailjet is similar to the likes of MailChimp and SendGrid, in that it provides a way for companies to send out newsletters and their apps to send out transactional emails. While some of those rivals target marketing departments, though, Mailjet’s sights are trained on relatively small-scale developers that want to avoid the hassle of maintaining SMTP servers and the like.

“Whenever you have a web app you need to code a couple of emails – welcome, subscription, reset password – so it’s a headache for the developer to set that up,” co-founder Quentin Nickmans told me. “So we created a platform that makes it extremely easy for a developer to set up.”

Apart from these functions, Mailjet also provides tracking and ‘deliverability optimization’ of emails, so customers can see whether messages have been clicked on or opened.

The cash comes mostly from Alven Capital, which has put $2.6m into the round, with the rest coming from Airtek Capital Group chief Laurent Asscher and the eFounders incubator, which had previously provided $300k in seed funding.

Because Mailjet is mostly targeting startups, the company needs feet on the ground in each territory. And, according to Nickmans, such presence will also help with dealing with ISPs – essential when you’re trying to make your customers’ emails as deliverable as possible:

“The company has been having quite a lot of traction and… we need to hire more people in support, we need to be closer to our customers. We need to have a couple of people present in Latin America, we want to grow our support team in Canada, we don’t have someone now in Berlin who could be a developer evangelist –we want to participate in hackathons for people to get to know our API, and we want someone more locally based for ISP relations.”

Right now Mailjet has around 10,000 customers (big names include MIT and Fotolia), which it’s amassed since launching 18 months ago. The company employs a freemium model, with payments kicking in once you send 6,000 or more emails a month.

Paying customers also get a dedicated IP address that benefits from reputation monitoring. Nickmans didn’t want to detail the split between paying and non-paying customers too closely, but he indicated that somewhere between 15-20 percent were paying, which is fairly impressive.