Pathwire, a San Antonio-based email marketing tech company, was sold to a Swedish company in a $1.9 billion deal.
Pathwire, an email marketing company, was bought by a Swedish company in a $1.9 billion deal. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Pathwire, an email services company once owned by Rackspace, is being acquired by Swedish company Sinch AB in a $1.9 billion cash and stock deal.

It may be one of the largest local tech industry transactions since 2016, when Apollo Global Management bought Rackspace for $4.3 billion.

Sinch, a global cloud communications company, is set to pay the sellers, a group that includes Chicago-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo, $925 million in cash and 51 million new shares in Sinch.

The deal, announced last week, is expected to close by the end of the year, pending approval from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. Pathwire will merge with Sinch’s U.S. subsidiary Pegasus Corp. One.

Pathwire provides an email platform for marketing communications and “transactional email,” which are automated emails such as booking confirmations, receipts, and password resets. These transaction emails make up most of the value in the growing $16 billion global market, according to research from Technavio, a market research group cited by Sinch.

Pathwire is expected to generate revenue totaling $132 million for 2021, with a gross profit of $104 million, according to a press release from Sinch. It employs around 290 people and is based in the Weston Centre on East Pecan Street.

Pathwire CEO Will Conway
Pathwire CEO Will Conway Credit: Courtesy / Pathwire

“Sinch and Pathwire are a natural fit,” said Pathwire CEO Will Conway in a prepared statement. “I’m proud of what the Pathwire team has accomplished, and I’m tremendously excited about this next step on our journey and the many opportunities we can unlock together.”

Pathwire has more than 100,000 clients, including Lyft and Microsoft, according to the release. Its three primary product groups — Mailgun, Mailjet, and Email on Acid — aim to help developers and marketers create email systems that hit targeted inboxes with customized displays.

“Every form of digital communications has its unique benefits, and delivering high quality at scale requires both extensive technical capabilities and deep subject matter expertise“, Sinch CEO Oscar Werner said in a prepared statement. “Together with Pathwire, we will be able to offer a best-of-breed product set, across messaging, voice and email.”

Pathwire was founded in 2010 as Mailgun Technologies, the name under which it was known until February this year. Rackspace purchased the company in 2012 and owned it for five years until Conway spun the company off. The company continued to grow with the help of private equity money from groups like San Antonio-based Scaleworks, San Francisco-based Turn/River Capital, and Thoma Bravo.

Sinch, based in Stockholm, has offices in over 30 countries.

Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham writes about business and technology. Contact him at waylon@sareport.org.