Columbia-based SparkPost to be acquired by communications platform MessageBird in $600M deal

SparkPost grew into the largest sender of business emails. Now its platform will be added to the call and text tools offered by Netherlands-based MessageBird.

The lobby of SparkPost's office in Columbia. (Courtesy photo)

Columbia-based email delivery firm SparkPost is set to be acquired by MessageBird, a communications platform based in the Netherlands. The deal is worth $600 million, TechCrunch first reported today.

In a blog post, MessageBird CEO Robert Vis said 250 employees of SparkPost will join the company, bringing it to 700 people total. The deal will also allow MessageBird to expand its footrprint in North America.

Founded in 2008, SparkPost says it’s responsible for 40% of all commercial emails through its sending and deliverability platform, and counts customers like Twitter, Airbnb, The New York Times and Mailchimp.

SparkPost recently raised an eye-catching $180 million growth round of financing. In his own blog post, SparkPost CEO Rich Harris wrote that Vis approached him shortly after that deal was completed.

“We had just closed a large financing and we were focused on executing our plan,” wrote Harris, who joined the company in 2018 after leading Northern Virginia’s AddThis through its acquisition by Oracle. “But Robert’s pitch was compelling. He not only talked about geographic, product and market expansion, but also about his values, business philosophy and MessageBird’s special culture.”

SparkPost will add email capabilities to MessageBird’s platform, which includes tools for businesses to communicate with customers across multiple channels. For its part, MessageBird helps companies communicate over text and calls. As Forbes notes, “the texts you receive from an Uber driver are powered by MessageBird’s tech.”

Along with making SparkPost’s email platform available to such customers, the deal also means SparkPost can offer MessageBird’s tools to its clients.

“Today’s acquisition marks a shift in the way companies will be able to engage and communicate with customers for a more seamless, omni-channel experience,” Vis said in a statement to “Bringing SparkPost’s innovative technology into the MessageBird platform will further drive the industry forward and allow us to raise the bar again for communications between organizations and their customers.”

Going forward, Vis indicated that the people are most important, including the Columbia-based team.

“Aside from the technology, the biggest draw is the stellar team SparkPost has built over the years — both locally in Baltimore, as well as globally. Their understanding of the market, deep expertise on addressing complex and layered email marketing needs, forward-thinking innovation, and ability to execute and scale is truly unrivaled,” he said. “Our plans to work together to forge MessageBird’s path in the North American market will lean on those attributes and we’re excited to see this partnership empower organizations of all types to better serve their audiences.”

Alongside the acquisition, MessageBird said it is adding $800 billion to a previously announced Series C investment round, led by Eurazeo, Tiger Global and BlackRock, which will bring the total close to $1 billion. It is applying $600 million from that round toward the acquisition, TechCrunch reports.

Companies: SparkPost

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