It feels like only yesterday my co-founder Peter and I started the journey that has led us to our latest milestone: a $25M Series B expansion round that will accelerate our global growth and expand our portfolio of trust-based anti-impersonation services.
Our fundamental premise was (and is) simple: Email lacks authentication and therefore can’t be trusted. If we could automate email authentication, we’d be able to trust email again.
Here’s how we explained our vision then (and still do now):
- Communications must have trust to be effective. You must be able to trust the authenticity of who/what is on the other side, or the communication is meaningless.
- The best way to confirm the other side is who/what they claim to be is to authenticate them. In other words, authentication is at the root of trusted communications. Filtering, encryption, and other methods of securing email don’t address this fundamental need.
- But authentication is hard, as many companies have discovered. So any scalable solution must automate and simplify the process … and it has to work! As we looked at the solutions in the market it was painfully clear that they were manual, costly, and failed at an alarming rate. In fact, thanks to our sampling millions of public DNS records, we know that 70-80% of projects to authenticate email end up failing.
- “Communications” includes email, SMS, telephone calls, IoT, etc., but it was clear to us we had to start with email. It is the world’s largest communications platform, is still growing, and suffers from billions of dollars in fraud damages due to the lack of automated authentication.
How We Got To Where We Are
The mission was only the beginning. The next goal was how to build a company around the mission/vision.
We’ve spent Valimail’s first three years on the first two steps in our business plan: validating product-market fit and proving that we can build and sustain a repeatable sales model.
At each stage, we focused on building a product that customers wanted — and considered valuable — rather than focusing on fundraising first.
Today we are the leader in automated email authentication, have 3 awarded patents, and are incredibly fortunate to have a fanatical and diverse client base of multinational corporations and mid-size businesses across many vertical markets. We are honored to have 100% renewal rates, no downsells, and our clients are recommending us to their peers. And after going through hundreds of sales cycles, we have a proven and hardened sales model.
It is now time to start the third phase of our business plan: increasing awareness, expanding our platform with new capabilities and new products, and scaling sales via multiple distribution models. Enter Tenaya Capital leading our $25M Series B round.
What’s Next for Valimail
As a three-year-old company, and given our focus on product/market fit and our sales model, we have not done much marketing to date. We knew Valimail needed to grow our marketing team to build awareness and sharpen our messaging. We recently hired Mandeep Khera as our CMO and now, with the B round, we can aggressively expand our marketing efforts.
On the product side, we’re actively expanding our platform. We’ve enabled integrations with leading SIEMs like Splunk, and were the only vendor in the space to be selected as a Splunk Adaptive Response App partner. We’ve focused on compliance, recently earning our SOC2 Type 2 certification. We’ve built APIs for partner and customer integration, enabling custom workflows and facilitating the export of critical threat intelligence. And of course, we continue to focus on automation, through integrations with email service providers as well as even faster onboarding.
In addition, we look forward to extending our platform in order to extend our mission to stop email impersonation. Watch this space for new products that will address the lookalike domain and Friendly From threats.
Email is a massive and global business. There are 100 million email-sending domains, spread across the entire planet. In order to effectively engage with companies seeking our service, we need to expand our partnerships and distribution channels. We’ve built out our BD/channel team and are off to a good start on partnerships: Last quarter, we announced significant new partnerships with Adobe, SparkPost, SendGrid, Fed Results, and Immix Group.
We’re only just getting started, but already see that CIO/CISOs now recognize Valimail, and they understand why we’re so uniquely effective at email authentication.
We’re excited about this next phase of our growth. With an amazing group of talented and experienced experts, we’ve got a solid foundation to support an accelerated global expansion. We’re in for a wild ride, and want to thank our clients, investors, employees, and families for this privilege. Our motto, “Authenticating the World’s Communications,” is no longer a dream, it’s a reality. Onwards and upwards!
And yes, we’re hiring!
We’ve got open positions in engineering, marketing, sales, customer success, and other categories, and we’re looking for talented people who want to make a difference in the way the world communicates. See valimail.com/careers for the details.
Top photo by Alex Lomix