250ok Raises $2.6M Series A, Plans to Expand E-mail Management Tech
E-mail is ubiquitous to modern corporate life, but despite its popularity, it’s not always an effective way to communicate. Between automated inbox filters that barely work, productivity-killing overload, and suspicious communications sent by malicious actors, e-mail can be a potential minefield without the proper visibility into how it’s functioning.
That’s the premise behind Indianapolis-based 250ok, an e-mail management startup that last week announced the close of a $2.6 million Series A round led by Arthur Ventures. Chief operating officer Andy Clark says the company began in 2011 as a pet project by former ExactTarget e-mail deliverability manager (and 250ok CEO) Greg Kraios.
“We started off helping organizations get critical e-mail to clients,” Clark explains. “It was an area where we had a lot of depth of knowledge.”
Today, Clark describes the company’s offerings as “part data analytics, part best practices,” combining data collection and segmentation with understanding insights delivered by analytics. Companies can hire 250ok to test, monitor, and fix inbox placement issues; perform optimized seed testing, which ensures e-mails are getting past inbox filters; create custom alerts; authenticate e-mail; track deliverability issues; and more.
“We want to ensure e-mails are going out and received by stakeholders—did they open it and engage?” Clark says potential 250ok customers are companies in which revenue declines significantly if e-mail stops, such as those focused on social media or e-commerce. “Our clients use a lot of data and want additional insights. Think of us as the intelligence inside organizations,” he adds.
The 23-person software-as-a-service company plans to spend its new capital on product development and hiring additional staffers. Clark admits that 250ok is up against a lot of competitors in the e-mail management space—he mentions Return Path specifically—but he feels the company’s technical expertise and approach make it different.
“There are high barriers to entry, so we took the time to build our technology,” Clark says. “We see a large growth area around data-driven marketers. Our approach is aligned with what they need—we’re the right solution at the right time.” The company’s customers include large technology companies like Dyn, Adobe, and Marketo.
In 2018, 250ok—the company’s name refers to the message servers generate when an e-mail is successfully received—plans “big product releases focused around the security component,” Clark says.