BOULDER — SendGrid, one of Boulder’s major startup success stories, is moving its headquarters and 60 local employees to Denver.
The 7-year-old company, maker of a cloud-based email-delivery services platform, announced on Tuesday that it plans to consolidate its Boulder office and two in Denver into a larger space in downtown Denver by the end of the year.
The move is being made not only to get all of the company’s 210 Colorado employees under the same roof, but also to focus SendGrid’s rapid growth on Denver, where company officials note the talent pool is larger than in Boulder simply due to its population.
“It wasn’t really about running out of space (in Boulder) or trying to find a larger space, but rather going to where the recruiting opportunities are and consolidating around where a majority of our employee base is,” SendGrid chief marketing officer Scott Heimes said in a phone interview. “We’ve been able to attract tremendous talent in Boulder. It’s just that it’s harder because the pool is smaller.”
Founded in 2009, SendGrid moved its headquarters into a 19,000-square-foot space at 1401 Walnut St. in downtown Boulder two years ago. The company, on track for an initial public offering some time next year, opened its first Denver office in 2012 and now has 150 employees spread across two locations in Denver that total about 20,000 square feet.
The new Denver headquarters at 1801 California St. will be 52,000 square feet and accommodate up to 450 employees, Heimes said. SendGrid also employs a total of about 80 people at California offices in Redwood City and Orange. Heimes said a London office is slated to open this summer.
“We feel we’ve got several years of growth in this (new) space,” Heimes said.
SendGrid will maintain a small Boulder office space for meetings and remote working, but Heimes said it’s still to be determined whether that will be in a portion of the company’s current local office or somewhere else in town. The company has several years left on its 1401 Walnut lease, and Heimes said the company is still exploring its options with regard to that space.
To help ease the transition for its Boulder employees, SendGrid plans to start running a Wifi-enabled shuttle service between Boulder and its Denver office multiple times per day.
Heimes said keeping some presence in Boulder is important to SendGrid leaders, given that the company is a product of the Techstars Boulder accelerator and given the city’s strong innovation scene.
SendGrid’s rise in Boulder has been a rapid one. The company grew from $1.4 million in sales in 2010 to $28.9 million by 2013. Heimes said the company expects to drive $100 million-plus in sales in 2017, with year-over-year growth “well-north” of 30 percent.
The company has raised $48 million in venture capital since its founding, including a $20 million Series C round in late 2014. Heimes said there are no plans to raise further funding before an IPO, noting that the company expects to be profitable this year. He said the company is on a path toward an IPO next year “assuming market conditions are supportive of that.”
Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, downplayed any negative side effects losing a headquarters like SendGrid’s might have for the city and applauded the company’s success for helping grow Boulder’s startup scene.
“I think their success is sort of a testament to the strength of not just Boulder’s startup community but the whole Front Range ecosystem of helping entrepreneurs,” Harald said. “I think this is all very positive.
“Next week is Boulder Startup Week, and we’re going to be celebrating dozens of Boulder startup success stories. The bigger picture here is that we are part of an ecosystem that is thriving, especially in tech but across other industries as well. We see SendGrid’s success as a terrific example of that.”