Not actually a Valimail rocket. Photo credit: NASA
From inception, our vision has been to do something unique and audacious: authenticate the world’s email. If we’re successful, the result will be the elimination of phishing attacks, much higher deliverability rates, and a restoration of consumers’ trust in email. After nine months of developing our technology, working with leading brands in specific vertical markets, and proving product/market fit, Valimail emerged from stealth and launched in early May, 2016.
Although the company is young, we are already generating revenue from more than two dozen customers, including Uber, Fenwick & West, and HBO. We’re even profitable. And we’re growing.
Valimail is the first company to offer Email Authentication as a Service™, our term for a service that lets companies hand off the complicated task of getting email authentication set up and running.
Email authentication is technically complicated, but it can be summarized by saying this: When done right, only approved employees and partners can send email claiming to be you. This eliminates email impersonation, the leading cause of phishing attacks. And it works both inside and outside your company, with enforcement provided by the world’s largest ISPs, which together represent over 85% of all inboxes.
Authentication standards, including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, have been around for awhile, but they’re taking off now for three big reasons:
- Big email service providers are ramping up enforcement and penalizing senders who don’t authenticate their email properly. Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft Hotmail all do email authentication checks; emails that authenticate have a much greater likelihood of actually reaching a consumer’s inbox. Gmail has even started flagging messages that don’t authenticate with a prominent question mark. With wide coverage for email authentication on the consumer side, there’s no reason for senders not to embrace it now.
- Most companies have embraced software-as-a-service, which means that they use many cloud-based services — many of which send email for their customers. That could be email marketing vendors like MailChimp, your Salesforce CRM, an HR management tool like WorkDay, or a customer-support tool like Zendesk … this list goes on. All of those services need to send email on their customers’ behalf. DMARC authentication is able to handle this kind of authorization of multiple third parties, but configuration can be a bear for mail administrators due to limitations in the standards and fragile configurations. That is why most haven’t set it up — or haven’t set it up properly.
- Most importantly, phishing is up dramatically. Phishing attacks consist of emails impersonating companies and aimed at their customers, employees, and even executives. These emails take advantage of the fact that it’s easy to fake an email so it appears to come from a specific person or domain, even if it doesn’t. The FBI recently stated that phishing attacks are up dramatically and cost industry $2.3Bn in the past 2 years alone.
Email usage is growing 6 percent annually, and 80 percent of consumers are happy to sign up for email marketing campaigns. It’s still the most effective way to build a relationship between a company and a customer. With email thriving and increasing in importance (think Square or Uber email receipts), proper email authentication is more important than ever. Companies just need to solve the problems that are causing consumers to mistrust messages.
Email authentication solves all of these problems. It enables companies to send messages that authenticate properly, helping ensure deliverability. It helps ensure that designated partner companies — and only those designated partners — can send email on a company’s behalf. And it stops phishing attacks cold.
Valimail is able to shield 2.7 billion consumer inboxes from imposter emails by automating and managing DMARC and giving companies a simple, web-based interface for configuring and maintaining it. Valimail also provides easy-to-use and actionable reports on which emails are authenticating and which aren’t.
In order to offer Email Authentication as a Service, Valimail has had to develop several patent-pending enhancements to email authentication, increasing the flexibility, reliability, and security of the standard. Our enhancements also make it work better in an environment where companies work with dozens of SaaS vendors.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in nine months, and we are looking forward to showing the world what we can do. To find out more about how trustworthy email can change your business, check out valimail.com.