Litmus Accept $49 MN in Series A Investment

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No longer bootstrapped and proud, the startup has taken $49 million dollars in investment. Like many of their peers who followed the bootstrapped philosophy including Github, Campaign Monitor, TechSmith. I always considered it an inevitable eventuality for them, for many however it is a shocking turn of events. Whenever I have proposed they will be one of the next business to take significant investment there has always been a vocal and concerted dismissal of the suggestion.

Well there have been several interesting unveils from Litmus over the past few months, probably the most dramatic was Litmus adding ‘build’ to their toolkit, starting out as the testing tool it is quite the leap to go to build, test, track. Although it should not be so shocking, they acquired PutsMail a standlone tool from Pablo Cantero, a software developer based in São Paulo, Brazil in 2014. There are certainly similarities between the new integrated tool and the standalone product they acquired, readers can check out ‘PutsMail.com

Already promising to shave hours of campaign build time, tweaks and changes can be done with on the fly testing results. The 49 million investment from Spectrum Equity has to be the most significant of all the announcements. Spectrum Equity is a company with not insignificant success with the online subscription and education model, previous smart investments have included Ancestry.com, SurveyMonkey, Prezi, and Lynda.com.

Despite the fact that they had only just recently sealed the and were given no notice at all from emailexpert, Paul was good-natured as ever and seemed happy to field some questions around their news. The questions were posed by Nely, and the warm response is telling, despite having grown significantly over the last 5 or 6 years Paul Farrell is still the down to earth, friendly gentleman that he always was. Ambushed with “Can you spare us just a few minutes before Monday” this posed late on a Friday the answer cam back “Of course! Happy to help, and nice to hear from you.”

With many surprised that Litmus had taken funding, Nely was more concerned with the why Spectrum rather than the why money question, Paul revealed that Litmus have actually been in contact with Spectrum for more than 5 years, watching them grow has probably had a significant part to play in putting the Litmus founders at ease. The 3 lads started out in London having been childhood friends. Litmus started with Paul Farnell (CEO), Matthew Brindley (CTO), and David Smalley (Managing Director, International) – childhood friends and freelance web designer

Paul Farnell shares a little of the Litmus Story

Nely: What was the main factor in choosing Spectrum?

We met with dozens of potential partners, and Spectrum were so clearly head and shoulders above others. Litmus is the perfect fit—we’re exactly the type of company they seek out to work with. In fact, we’ve been in contact with them for over five years now, as the company has developed. They have a ton of experience in companies like ours, and we can’t wait to apply their experience to Litmus.

N: Are you going to focus on international expansion and accelerate the company’s engineering or is it more sales hiring?

We aim to expand internationally, yes. That’s a big part of the next phase of our growth. We’re also keen to expand—gradually—on our engineering, support, marketing, and customer success teams.

N: With Education: are you going to share your priceless experience and deep knowledge of the email area with anyone who needs the training for the marketing and brand awareness potential or more formal with people charged to learn?

We are huge fans of education. I think there is a big gap in knowledge in the email design space. We already try to fill that gap with our blog, newsletter, community, webinars, and general thought leadership. There are very few companies publishing the depth of content that we do—if any. With this investment we intend to continue on that trajectory.

How do you feel about this news? Are you just a little nervous that it’s going to bring a lot of attention to your company?

We’re delighted that we can share this news with the email marketing community. It’s a big vote of confidence not just for Litmus as a company, but in all of us working in this space. There is a ton of innovation around email at the moment, and I feel like we’re just getting started.

Elsewhere Paul has said

When I look at the talent on our team, and add in this funding, the most exciting thing to me is that it gives us the opportunity to touch the edges of what is possible in our market, in that investment we couldn’t ask for a better partner than Spectrum. They bring the experience and portfolio to support our next stage of scale.”

Thanks Paul!

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emailexpert is published by Andrew Bonar, the founder of the company Deliverability which is incorporated in Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Deliverability has included Dotmailer, GetResponse, outreach.io, SendLane and other ESPs as clients. Having launched his first website in 1990, he went on to become the co-founder of @POBox UK in 1993, a free email address provider, possibly the first in the world. Thereafter launching Cheapnet which became the longest running privately owned ISP in Europe before launching the first privately owned online payment gateway in the UK: Ebanx. Andrew has consulted to some of the worlds biggest senders including Amazon, Mondelez and Nestle. 2012 in his role as Global Deliverability Director at Emailvision was the first time he oversaw the delivery of more than 100 Biillion messages in a single year. Since that time he has provisioned consultancy or performed leadership roles at some of Australia's most successful tech companies. Including Campaign Monitor, Freelancer.com and Kogan. With 21+ years of industry experience, Andrew is widely recognised as a leader in the field of message sending, deliverability and compliance. He currently resides in the Harbour City of Sydney and continues to serve as an independent consultant at organisations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US.