Message Bus Raises $11M For Cloud Email in the Enterprise

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Cloud messaging provider Message Bus has closed $11 million in growth funding, the company said this week. Message Bus builds native cloud technology that aims to reduce the cost of building and maintaining enterprise messaging applications. The Corte Madera, Calif.-based company provides a suite of messaging utilities with email at its core, emphasizing the opening of data silos to drive insight into applications and businesses.

The round was led by North Bridge Venture Partners and included True Ventures, Ignition Partners, James Lindenbaum, Tim Young and Jesse Robbins. Message Bus plans to use the funding on hiring more talent and developing its product roadmap.

The company previously raised $3 million in Series A financing led by True Ventures, with participation from Start Project seed partner, Polaris Ventures (which also provided  $275,000 in seed funding in 2010 when Message Bus was founded). Message Bus was the first incubation for the Start Project, which was founded in 2009 as an accelerator replying on high-profile Silicon Valley advisors and entrepreneurs to help bring new ideas to market.

The Email Challenge

Message Bus’ founders saw the frustration of configuring and administering email and other messaging servers and sought to fix the problem. Message Bus provides a cloud-native application service for enabling messaging across email and mobile channels. The company removes the burden and cost of deploying multiple messaging servers, offering a service available via SMTP or through a programmatic API. Message Bus aides in managing the trust relationship between senders and recipients, the goal being increasing message deliverability rates and revenues. Key benefits include lower cost to market, compliance with industry regulations, and protecting brand reputation.

The company says its replacing the old school approach – in which senders simply hope a message was received – to a data-driven approach that manages the relationship between senders and recipients. “Good actors should be rewarded just as bad actors are punished,” wrote Jeremy LaTrasse, the CEO and co-founder of Message Bus, in a blog post.

LaTrasse was part of the founding team at Twitter and served as Director of Operations, leading the unit which built and supported the back-end technology. His time at Twitter  supplied him with valuable experience he brought to MessageBus.

“The challenges of serving web pages at scale, maintaining the social graph, and supporting new use cases were tough, but messaging was the biggest challenge by far, specifically email messaging,” said LaTrasse. “It’s hard enough to wrap your mind around sending 100 million legitimate messages in a day, but it’s even harder when recipient domains interpret your behavior as spam or fraud and then blacklist you across the board. At Message Bus, we’re applying the lessons learned scaling a cloud leveraged platform to create the first cloud-native application service for messaging across established and emerging channels.”

Making Messaging ‘Cloud Native’

The company wants to be the next generation of services for cloud – application services that are cloud-native from the foundation up. “There’s a massive install base of old school technology that’s not purpose-built for the cloud, primed for replacement,” writes LaTrasse. “In the same way people think Amazon Web Services for cloud compute and Dropbox for cloud storage, we want Message Bus to be viewed as synonymous with email and mobile messaging.”

Hosted messaging is big business, and there’s no shortage of funding and acquisitions in the space. Some examples of health and interest in the sector include Rackspace acquiring Mailgun, a provider of email integration into cloud applications, a few months back. Hosted Messaging provider Intermedia hit the 500,000 premium Hosted Exchange seat mark, growing approximately 40% year over year and attracting larger businesses.

There is opportunity in the enterprise in the space that Message Bus plays. Jon Callaghan, Founding Partner at True Ventures, summarizes the appeal investors see in Message Bus.

“Internet messaging is becoming more complex through channel proliferation,” said Callaghan. “What was once a complex problem has been confounded now that customers interact with companies through email, mobile and social messaging. Each channel requires a unique message type which forces companies to spin up more and more costly messaging servers. Message Bus is poised to solve the messaging challenge across channels by creating a single platform to enable messaging in the cloud.”

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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