Company Profile: MessageGears

Company Profile: MessageGears

Meeting Email Customization Challenges

Sophisticated companies carefully tailor their email marketing campaigns based on what they know about their customers. But the information needed to produce custom campaigns usually resides in databases behind secure firewalls, while the emails themselves must be sent from a “software-as-service” (SAS) system located outside the firewall.

Message Gears Team(Left to right): Bruce Carlson - Vice President, Sales; Taylor Jones - Principal Engineer, Co-Founder; Dan Roy - CEO, Co-Founder; Michael Robinson - Principal Engineer, Co-Founder. Photo: Maxwell Guberman.

MessageGears, another 2014 graduate of Georgia Tech's startup incubator, the Advanced Technology Development Center, has developed a product that allows companies to have the best of both these worlds.

“The challenge for the kinds of customers we are selling to is that they have lots of data they need to use in the messages to personalize the messages,” said Dan Roy, CEO of the company. “What we have done with our technology is split the challenge in half. The delivery system is an SAS-based component, and we manage deliverability for our customers. But the software itself runs on premise and connects directly to our customers’ databases.”

Founded in 2010, the company now has about 50 customers, including such names as GEICO and Activision.

“We measure our success by our growth in message volume,” said Roy. “We are sending more than 100 million messages a month now, and our goal is to get to a billion messages by the end of next year.”

MessageGears connected to ATDC through friends who were familiar with the organization. Roy had worked for a Silicon Valley startup, so he had heard of the organization as part of Atlanta’s technology community. But MessageGears was his first time as a CEO.

“This was new territory with me, and I just wanted to get immersed into a community of other entrepreneurs to learn the ropes,” he said. “Every entrepreneur has to think about funding and fund-raising from the very beginning. We had some seed funding when we started the company, but we knew that was going to run out pretty quickly before we built a customer base and started getting revenue.”

ATDC helped explain fund-raising and provided information that Roy and the company’s co-founders needed to interact with the investor community and consider their choices.

“It was very valuable to us, and I’m not even sure where we would be without the support of ATDC,” he added. “The formal ATDC organization is great, but just being in a community of other entrepreneurs, people who are in a similar situation to us, is very helpful.”

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