Our Investment in Bounce.io

by Ryan McIntyre

We are excited to announce that we’ve led Bounce.io’s Series A financing. Based in Louisville, CO, Bounce.io is an email infrastructure company that provides services to domain registrars, ISPs, and mail services providers to better manage and monetize bounced email traffic.

We love the email market, as evidenced by our investments over the years in companies such as Message Media, Return Path, Postini, and SendGrid, and from time to time, given our involvement in the email domain, we come across companies that have “discovered” interesting unaddressed “white spaces” in the market. Bounce.io is one of those companies.

While estimates vary widely, there are roughly 300 billion email messages sent every day, with 10% – 20% of those emails auto-generating bounced email notifications, which means there are on the order of 30 billion bounced email messages sent each day. Traditionally, these bounce notifications are auto-generated by the generic mail server software at a particular domain registrar, ISP, or mail provider.

Very little attention has been paid to the formatting and design of these messages. The vast majority are presented in English, regardless of the language of the sender or recipient, and the fact that these messages provide an opportunity for a user interaction and thus a branding or advertising opportunity has largely been ignored.

While the bulk of bounced messages are machine-generated and the result of out-of-date email addresses or simply the result of spammers phishing for active email addresses, a meaningful percentage of bounced email are still generated and received by human beings, and those bounce messages have a very high open-rate, on the order of 60%, which provides an opportunity for billions of new daily user impressions.

Bounce.io provides a service to allow its customers to manage and monetize their bounced email traffic though advertising, essentially providing “found money” to their customers and partners.

The company was founded in late 2012 by a group of experienced email entrepreneurs and technologists who collectively hold nearly twenty email-related patents. Founder/CEO Scott Brown in a serial entrepreneur and founder of six companies, and Tom Bartel, Chief of Ops and Privacy, is well known to us through his long-term involvement with Mobius VC and Foundry Select portfolio company Return Path.

Bounce sits squarely at the intersection of our Protocol and Adhesive themes, and we are excited to work with Bounce.io as they build the next great email company.