Nylas Raises $25M to Expand Communications Platform

Over the next year, the 100-person business aims to double its headcount. It’s hiring engineers, customer success, marketing professionals and more in San Francisco, New York City and Denver.

Written by Nona Tepper
Published on Jun. 23, 2020
Nylas Raises $25M to Expand Communications Platform
Image: Nylas

Meet the startup that connects the world to its email.

With just a few lines of code, Nylas helps companies collect and consolidate data from multiple email, calendar and contact accounts into a single platform. More than 40,000 developers use the startup daily to process more than 1.4 billion API calls. The San Francisco company syncs 15 terabytes of data each day, the same amount of information contained in 30 iPhones.

On Tuesday, Nylas announced it raised $25 million in Series B funding. The company plans to spend the cash on new product features, as well as a hiring spree. Over the next year, the 100-person business aims to double its headcount, and is hiring engineers, customer success, marketing professionals and more in San Francisco, New York City and Denver. Nylas also plans to build an engineering team in Toronto.

“Our long-term vision is to power the infrastructure for all communications,” CEO Gleb Polyakov told Built In. “Across all different communications, email, calendar and contacts by far are the hardest challenge to work with. They’re also the largest.”

Founded in 2013, Nylas offers an API platform that enables developers to securely access and process user data from any email, calendar and contacts provider globally. More than 450 customers — including Comcast, Hyundai and Realtor.com — use Nylas’ APIs to integrate Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Outlook and other communications data into their applications.

Polyakov celebrated his five-year anniversary with the company on Monday. He said it’s been a wild ride.

Polyakov called email a “super fractured and fragmented ecosystem” regulated by international standards that companies frequently ignore and change often anyway. On top of that, emails often contain data rich content, he said, which makes parsing the different types of information contained difficult. And today’s common use cases, like threading emails and storing their content, are not what the software was actually built to do, he added.

“Imagine playing a chess game where, instead of moving your pawn forward to this square, first you have to say every single move that came before on each side,” Polyakov said.

Still, over the past two quarters, the company has doubled its revenue.

Nylas now plans to extend its AI and machine-learning functionalities, eventually suggesting, say, how a sales rep reaches out to a customer, understanding the customer’s reply and then dictating when the rep should reach out next. The company also plans to use natural language processing to complete sentiment analysis, so Nylas’ suggested responses reflect the tone of the individual sales rep and the appropriate context of an exchange.

“Communication is a two-way street,” Polyakov said. “You need to ask, listen, understand who is saying that, why are they saying that, and use that info to contextualize what you should say next.”

The Series B round follows the company’s May acquisition of June.ai, a developer of AI-powered email workflow tools. Nylas paid an undisclosed sum for the New York startup.

This week’s round brings total investment in Nylas to $55 million. 8VC and Round13 Capital led the round, with participation from Spark Capital, ScaleUP, Slack Fund and Citi Ventures.

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