AppMail

Overview

Raised this Round: Raised: $0

Total Commitments ($USD)

Platform

SeedInvest

Start Date

09/26/2021

Close Date

Not Provided

Min. Goal
$750,000
Max. Goal
$5,000,000
Min. Investment

$1,000

Security Type

Equity - Preferred

Series

Seed

SEC Filing Type

RegA+    Open SEC Filing

Price Per Share

$0.49

Pre-Money Valuation

$13,000,000

Year Founded

2012

Industry

Business Services, Software, & Applications

Tech Sector

CommerceTech

Distribution Model

B2B

Margin

High

Capital Intensity

Low

Location

New York, New York

Business Type

Growth

AppMail, with a valuation of $13 million, is raising funds on SeedInvest through Reg A+ crowdfunding. The company offers interactive email to users that lets them shop, book appointments, and do much more without leaving the inbox. AppMail is integrated with Google products and has a contract with LATAM Airlines Group. The company has one technology patent in the US and pending patents in Europe and China. Shi Li and Duncan Sham founded AppMail in 2012. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $750,000 and a maximum target of $5,000,000. The campaign proceeds will be used for product development, sales and marketing, general and administrative expenses, and research and development.

Balance Sheet

Cash and Cash Equivalents

$151,875

Investment Securities

$0

Total Investments

$0

Accounts and Notes Receivable

$30,000

Loans

$0

Property, Plant and Equipment (PP&E)

$0

Property and Equipment

$0

Total Assets

$181,875

Accounts Payable & Accrued Liabilities

$80,048

Policy Liabilities and Accruals

$0

Deposits

$0

Long Term Debt

$128,246

Total Liabilities

$208,294

Total Stockholders' Equity

$-26,419

Total Liabilities and Equity

$181,875

Statement of Comprehensive Income Information

Total Revenues

$46,685

Total Interest Income

$0

Costs & Expenses Applicable to Rev

$345,079

Total Interest Expenses

$0

Depreciation and Amortization

$0

Net Income

$-296,394

Earnings Per Share - Basic

$0.01

Earnings Per Share - Diluted

$0.01

Auditor: IndigoSpire CPA Group LLC
Financials as of: 09/26/2021
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
AppMail 07/29/2024 Wefunder $13,161,403 $4,100 Equity - Preferred Active RegCF
AppMail 10/21/2023 StartEngine $13,023,518 $116,484 Equity - Preferred Funded RegCF
AppMail 01/12/2022 SeedInvest $13,000,000 $0 Equity - Preferred Not Funded RegA+
AppMail 09/25/2021 SeedInvest $13,000,000 $279,512 Equity - Preferred Funded Test the Waters / RegA+
SAM Email by Airto 03/11/2021 StartEngine $19,929,818 $218,376 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
SeatAssignMate 12/06/2018 SeedInvest - $500,654 Debt Funded RegCF / RegD 506(c)
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Revenue History

Note: Revenue data points reflect the latest of either the most recent fiscal year's financials, or updated revenues directly from the founder, at each raise's close date.

Valuation History

Price per Share History

Note: Share prices shown in earlier rounds may not be indicative of any stock splits.

Employee History

Funding data not publicly available

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Synopsis

Email was invented in 1971, and the medium hasn’t changed a great deal since then. One of the major evolutions of email inboxes has been the rise in email marketing from brands. While email used to be reserved primarily for personal messages between known contacts, many people these days find their inboxes dominated by promotional messages. Almost 120 billion consumer marketing messages hit email inboxes every day. 

But while brands send out a massive number of emails, they struggle to make those emails effective. Average email click-through rates are only 2% to 5%. Consumers are frustrated by floods of pointless marketing messages, and marketers are similarly frustrated by the struggle to get consumers’ attention. Email needs an upgrade to make it more engaging for consumers and, consequently, more effective for marketers.

AppMail offers a solution. The company offers a software product for businesses that allows them to create email campaigns enriched by apps. Consumers can interact with emails similarly to how they interact with web pages, unlocking a wide range of options for businesses. E-commerce businesses can help customers buy a new item without leaving their email inbox, and airlines can help customers select their flight and pay for upgrades in a few clicks. These capabilities would be a major upgrade for both email senders and recipients. 

AppMail’s current SeedInvest raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the Kingscrowd investment team.

Next Section: Price

Price

AppMail is offering equity at a $13 million pre-money valuation. This price is far too high for the company’s current level of traction. AppMail has been around for four years but has made roughly $50,000 per year in revenue for two consecutive years. There aren’t strong growth signals to justify a $13 million valuation. Plus, this valuation is a drop from AppMail’s previous raise, which closed in March 2021. The company previously raised at a $20 million valuation, and little progress has been made since then. Overall, AppMail’s price is far too high and raises some concerns about the company’s prospects.

Next Section: Market

Market

Email marketing is a large and growing market. The global email marketing software industry is projected to reach $17.9 billion by 2027, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3% over the next six years. Global growth is driven by Asian countries like China, where the CAGR is expected to reach 17.4% over the next six years. 

Brands are continually investing in and redefining their email marketing programs. The 2000s-era players like Mailchimp have achieved a lot of traction. Mailchimp was recently acquired by Intuit for $12 billion. Newer players like Customer.io are also buzzing. Programs that promise marketers new ways to engage and grow their email marketing audiences are in great demand. AppMail offers a differentiated service that could be attractive to a wide variety of businesses, so the company has potential to become a major player. But the very competitive market may prove to be a challenge for the startup. Overall, AppMail’s market prospects are just below average.

Next Section: Team

Team

Shi Li, AppMail’s co-founder and CEO, brands himself as a serial entrepreneur. However, his professional experience is somewhat limited. Li spent three years in the real estate insurance industry, then got an MBA from NYU. It appears that Li founded the company that would eventually become AppMail at the Founder Institute, a global startup accelerator, in 2012. According to his LinkedIn, he launched AppMail in 2017. 

Co-founder and Product Manager Duncan Sham is the creative lead and manager of product development. He previously served for five years as a senior designer at Vault49, a creative studio, before founding AppMail. 

Li and Sham work alongside AppMail’s Vice President of Engineering and Research and Development William Warbington. Warbington is a travel professional with more than 15 years of experience in the US Air Force and a large airline IT provider. He devotes part of his time to a travel technology consulting firm, indicating he is not fully dedicated to the company. 

The AppMail team is small and relatively inexperienced in the world of business and technology. While Warbington has some technology experience to offset the founders’ lack thereof, he is not focused on the company full time. This raises questions about the team’s ability to navigate the industry and lead the company to success. There also seem to be meaningful gaps on the team, including marketing, sales, and full-time engineering capacity. Overall, the team is just below average.

Next Section: Differentiators

Differentiators

Differentiation is one of AppMail’s biggest strengths. Bringing the power of websites into email inboxes is a bold, enticing vision. It’s easy to see why brands could benefit from this type of software. And, remarkably, there aren’t any established companies offering this type of email functionality. AppMail has a real opportunity to revolutionize the email marketing field with minimal competition, at least for now. 

AppMail has also demonstrated decent traction in the airline industry, which was the company’s first focus. LATAM Airlines has proven that AppMail’s technology can boost email conversion rates, and AppMail secured funding from JetBlue Technology Ventures as a strategic investor. While it seems that AppMail is pivoting to focus on all types of email marketing, the company is appropriately positioned to capture airline business. In addition, AppMail holds a patent in a piece of underlying architecture that supports airline inventory apps in emails, which widens its competitive moat in that industry. Overall, AppMail is well-differentiated.

Next Section: Performance

Performance

AppMail has existed for four years, but the company is growing slowly. AppMail made decent progress when it was focused on the airline industry. A pilot with LATAM Airlines was successful, JetBlue Technology Ventures invested in the business, and other travel opportunities were apparently in the works. But it seems all of that progress had already been made before AppMail’s previous raise, which closed in March 2021, and little progress seems to have been made since then. 

AppMail is still generating a little less than $50,000 per year, with zero growth between 2019 and 2020. In fact, revenues actually declined by about $1,000 between the two years. Burn was relatively high in 2019, with a net loss of $628,703. With a net loss of $296,395, 2020 was a bit more favorable in terms of net income. Overall, despite AppMail’s slight decrease in revenue, the company’s ability to generate steady income is a large point in its favor. And it still has the backing of major investors. So its performance is above average.

Next Section: Risks

Risks

AppMail is a moderately risky investment. The company has already launched a proven product and is generating meager revenue. That makes it less risky than a pre-revenue business with no proof of concept. But AppMail isn’t showing any signs of growth, which could reflect a risky lack of product-market fit. A mild revenue decline between 2019 and 2020 is a source of financial risk, and a decreased valuation from a previous funding round poses a risk to the investment terms. Overall, investors can be somewhat confident that AppMail is running smoothly, but there are major questions about AppMail’s ability to grow and deliver returns. 

Next Section: Updates Since Last Round

Updates Since Last Round

There haven’t been many positive updates since AppMail’s last funding round, which is the main reason why this opportunity has been downgraded from Deal to Watch to Neutral. Our previous analysis found that AppMail offered an innovative product with good traction in the airline industry. While the innovative product remains, AppMail hasn’t offered any additional proof of traction or product-market fit since its last raise. The company has clearly made a pivot, rebranding from SAM Email to AppMail and removing its explicit focus on the airline industry. This seems to indicate that AppMail’s progress in the airline industry was running out, and it pivoted to serve any type of business in an effort to increase market opportunity. Another major change between funding rounds is AppMail’s valuation. At its last raise, the company was valued at just shy of $20 million. The current round puts the company at a $13 million valuation. That indicates AppMail is struggling to make progress.

Next Section: Bearish Outlook

Bearish Outlook

At one time, AppMail seemed like a business with strong growth prospects. A pilot with LATAM Airlines went well, demonstrating the effectiveness of AppMail’s high-engagement email marketing product. Other deals in the works were meant to extend AppMail’s reach in the travel industry. But since then, it seems that AppMail has struggled mightily. The company doesn’t offer any significant points of progress since its last raise. In fact, AppMail has pivoted from its focus on the travel industry. While this pivot might open the company up to more market opportunities, it’s also a sign that product-market fit with airlines just wasn’t there. This is both concerning and confusing given the company’s assumed trajectory. A significant valuation drop from $20 million to $13 million is a sign of these tempered expectations. 

In addition, AppMail’s team is relatively weak. Neither co-founder has significant professional experience, and they are the only two full-time team members. It’s also worth noting that the co-founders’ bios seemed much more compelling in the company’s first raise. They described years of experience, tons of connections in the global travel industry, and time spent on creative projects for Fortune 500 companies. The bios are much more muted this time, which seems to better reflect the co-founders’ real resumes. This inexperience could be one reason why AppMail has struggled in recent months.

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

Many of the compelling factors that spurred an initial rating of Deal to Watch for AppMail are still at play. AppMail offers an innovative product that has the power to reshape consumers’ relationships with brand emails. Imagine if it were possible to buy products, select airline seats, answer surveys, and more all within an email. Consumers would probably love it, brands would enjoy their increased engagement, and a virtuous cycle could drive quick growth for AppMail. 

It’s also still a great sign that AppMail has found solid traction in the airline industry. JetBlue Technology Ventures backed the company, and AppMail inked a contract with LATAM Airlines that has shown promising results for email engagement rates. In addition, the company is now backed and advised by Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline. AppMail clearly has strong connections in the travel space and hopefully has more potential to win deals. AppMail has obviously struggled since its last round, with little progress to report. However, the underlying principles of this company still seem favorable. 

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

AppMail offers a partially patented software product that allows brands to embed apps within their marketing emails. These apps allow customers to buy products, rebook airline seats, answer surveys, and moreall within their email inbox on desktop or mobile. AppMail’s product could be revolutionary in the world of email marketing, and the company has caught the eye of LATAM Airlines (a client) and JetBlue (an investor). In a sizable and rapidly growing market, AppMail’s success could make it a favorable investment.

However, AppMail’s growth has been stagnant since its last fundraise. Its valuation has dropped by $7 million, revenue decreased slightly from 2019 to 2020, and the company doesn’t seem to have surpassed any major milestones since its last round. The team’s lack of relevant experience and insufficient size also raise questions about the company’s chances for success. AppMail’s growth trajectory is far less certain than it appeared at its last round. Therefore, AppMail has been rated a Neutral Deal. 

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AppMail on SeedInvest 2021
Platform: SeedInvest
Security Type: Equity - Preferred
Valuation: $13,000,000
Price per Share: $0.49

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