Spam Control Vendor Sendio Gets $3M Venture Funding
Sendio makes an email threat protection appliance, with special emphasis on spam control. On February 9, 2009, Sendio announced it had raised new equity funding of $3M.
Products and Competitors:
- Appliance that protects against email-based threats, including spam, viruses, and phishing.
- Challenge/response is a key element of the protection infrastructure.
- Product launched in January 2004.
- Main competitors are Barracuda, Cisco (through IronPort acquisition), and Google (through Postini acquisition).
- Spam control seen by Ferris Research as a mature and highly competitive market.
- Sendio has not yet attained significant revenues or breakeven.
Funding History and Transaction Summary:
- Prior venture funding of $6M.
- Current Series B financing of $3M.
- As revenues have not yet taken off, the business was valued on a Series A basis.
- Athenian Venture Partners is lead investor, accompanied by prior investors Momentum Venture Management, Shepherd Ventures, and Vicente Capital.
Investor Interest and Motivations:
- Mainstream VCs generally declined the opportunity. They are largely reluctant to invest at present, other than in current portfolio companies or early stage.
- The new investor, Athenian, likes the use of challenge/response, which it sees as a potentially disruptive spam control technique.
- Existing investors are providing continuing support for the company during difficult market conditions.
CEO Tal Golan's advice to other fund-seekers in today's climate is:
- VC funding market is tough at present, but may pick up from Q309.
- Strategic partners--such as Cisco, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft--are a good way to seek capital, plus they may give stockholders an exit option later on.
- It's good to use your personal network to find sources of funding.
- Investors network with each other. So, for example, investors you know personally can introduce you to other prospective investors.
... David Ferris
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