SendGrid gets $20M to make in-app email easier

SendGrid, which aims to make it easy to add email delivery to the apps you love (Airbnb, FourSquare, Pinterest, GlassDoor, etc.) now has $20 million in Series C funding to keep addressing what it calls a hot market fired up by the booming popularity of mobile apps.

The company claims its platform handles more than 435 million emails daily and 15 billion emails per month — which is good or bad depending on how you feel about receiving updates to your various apps.

Bain Capital is a new backer with this time out, joining Bessemer Venture Partners and the Foundry Group. In September, SendGrid named Sameer Dholakia (pictured above), the exec who headed up the Citrix cloud effort, CEO, replacing Jim Franklin.

The Boulder, Colorado company has pulled in $48 million to date, including a $21 million B round in early 2012.

The company’s ability to raise funds shows that there may be life in email — a category that has been called dead many times. SendGrid’s claim to fame is putting email capabilities right in the applications people love to use so that, say, a Foursquare user can make sure the world knows she’s checked into Blue Bottle coffee, and is or is not the mayor of that establishment. Or whatever.

Sendgrid integrates with mobile development platforms including Parse and [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure, and also works with Twilio to ensure SMS messages get to where they need to go.

Clearly, SendGrid does not subscribe to the email-is-dead camp. Its challenge is to ensure all the gazillions of messages it delivers go to willing recipients and are not viewed as part of the growing spam scourge.