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Sendmarc raises $7 million to provide email protection against phishing attacks and email impersonation • TechCrunch

More than 90% of cybercrime activities that lead to financial fraud or identity theft begin with email identity theft, commonly referred to as phishing and spoofing. Several platforms offer individuals and businesses email protection against such attacks and general identity theft – and Sendmarc, based in Johannesburg but with global customers – has raised $7m in funding from A series.

The startup was launched by CEO Sam Hutchinson, Keith Thompson and Sacha Matulovich in 2020 after selling their former company, Everlytic, a communications platform that enables businesses to send, deliver, and track email and SMS communications. With Sendmarc, they sought to solve the identity theft problems faced by their old customers, thereby making the Internet safer for their new customers.

Businesses have lost over $10 billion due to business email compromises worldwide. Sendmarc helps its customers solve this problem by locking down their email domains and monitoring for abuse attempts. According to Chief Strategy Officer Matulovich, the company’s technology is based on email authentication methods, such as THE Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), global email security standards that protect domains against spoofing and which are used by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Meta, LinkedIn and PayPal. Sendmarc asserts that its subscribers have access to these same tools that implement, monitor and maintain these global email and domain security practices.

“There is a global standard designed by a consortium of the world’s leading technology companies. Every domain owner must implement the standard, but it’s hard to do,” Matulovich told TechCrunch in an interview. “It’s not something you can enable in your Microsoft or Google, so we’ve created software to allow companies to access these protocols to prevent email impersonation.”

As an African startup developing a global product, Sendmarc’s main competitors are outside the continent. Matulovich says that while the startup primarily competes against older companies such as Agari, the market is largely underserved as there are a million companies with unmet security needs. Companies, on the other hand, serve hundreds of thousands of people at best.

“What we do differently, unlike our competitors, is that we built a product focused on go-to-market functionality. Let’s take this example: say you designed a vaccine to solve a virus. Everyone agrees that it works. And now there are, say, ten vaccine manufacturers. The problem is not making the vaccine; it’s getting it to the millions of people who need it,” said the CSO.

“So while we focus a lot on our software, which is our vaccine, we also focus a lot on the distribution problem. The other half of our software is built around the sales and go-to-market tools that support all of our partners around the world who help distribute the product because it’s a volume game. He adds that Sendmarc expects to serve up to 100,000 customers over the next five years as the company may expand its product suite to include additional identity theft protection features.

So far he has more than 1,000 paying customers. Among them are South African stock exchanges, law firms such as Bowmans, insurance companies, tech startups, banks and law enforcement in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa South and Latin America. Eighty percent of them are based in South Africa, while the rest are spread across the world, Matulovich noted. These customers pay subscription fees between $49 and $119 per month, depending on the size of the business, generating more than $2 million in ARR for the two-year-old startup since 2021.

Atlantica Ventures led Sendmarc Series A. It welcomed participation from Allan Gray, E-Squared Ventures, Fireball Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, 4Di Capital, Endeavor Harvest, Alpha Private Capital and Kalon Venture Partners, the Johannesburg-based investor who provided Sendmarc with seed funding. in 2020. Sendmarc has raised $8.5 million since inception.

The South African startup, which has offices in the Netherlands, Argentina and Canada, intends to use this investment to increase its sales team in Africa, the United States, Europe and Latin America , according to Matulovic. And as cybercrime continues to rise, Sendmarc wants its dedication to email and domain security to play a vital role in protecting businesses and users from the damaging effects of identity theft on those markets.

“Cybercrime has become a major disruptor to economic activity in Africa and globally, costing businesses and governments billions of dollars a year in financial losses and reputational impact,” said Aniko Szigetvari, Principle and co-founder of Atlantica who now joins Sendmarc’s board of directors. “Atlantica Ventures supports African digital security startups and solutions that address this growing problem or pain point. The Sendmarc team focuses on a key area of ​​cybersecurity – protecting email and domain security. We are excited to support an outstanding founding team to further support their product growth and geographic expansion.

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