SAM Email by Airto

SAM Email by Airto

Early Stage

The next-generation interactive email


Raised this Round: Raised: $218,376

Total Commitments ($USD)



Start Date


Close Date


Min. Goal
Max. Goal
Min. Investment


Security Type

Equity - Common



SEC Filing Type

RegCF    Open SEC Filing

Price Per Share


Pre-Money Valuation


Year Founded



Business Services, Software, & Applications

Tech Sector


Distribution Model




Capital Intensity



New York, New York

Business Type


SAM Email by Airto, with a pre-money valuation of $19.9 million, is raising funds on StartEngine. It is an email technology company that delivers next-generation interactive email services. The patented technology of SAM allows users to perform meaningful actions within their own email, similar to ones they would experience on a website or an app. SAM Email by Airto was founded by Shi Li and Duncan Sham in 2017 and has raised over $650,000 in previous rounds of financing. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum goal of $9,999.15 and a maximum goal of $249,998.33. SAM Email by Airto launched with LATAM Airlines and received a 200% increment in engagement time, 500% click-through rate, and 40% higher sales conversion.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year












Net Income



Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year




Accounts Receivable



Total Assets



Short-Term Debt



Long-Term Debt



Total Liabilities



Financials as of: 07/16/2020
Create a free account today to gain access to KingsCrowd analytics.

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)
Create a free account today to gain access to KingsCrowd analytics.

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

Upgrade to gain access

Pay Monthly
Annually (Save 17%)


$25 /month
billed annually
Free portfolio tracking, data-driven ratings, AI analysis and reports
Plan Includes:
Everything in Free, plus
Company specific KingsCrowd ratings and analyst reports
Deal explorer and side-by-side comparison
Startup exit and failure tracking
Startup market filters and historical industry data
Advanced company search ( with ratings)
Get Edge Annual
Already a member? Log in here.

Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

Blurred Ratings Bars Blurred Ratings Bars

Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article


SAM Email has been selected as a “Deal to Watch” by KingsCrowd. This distinction is reserved for deals selected into the top 10%-20% of our due diligence funnel. If you have questions regarding our deal diligence and selection methodology, please reach out to

The SAM Email founders are part of traditionally underrepresented groups in startup investing. 

Next Section: Problem


We are all overwhelmed by our email inboxes. Professionals spend almost a third of their days reading and responding to email — an average of 120 messages per day. Even average consumers are inundated with electronic messages. Each day, almost 120 billion consumer marketing emails hit inboxes. The sheer volume of emails in the average inbox has given the “inbox zero” philosophy (maintaining zero unread emails) an aura of impossibility


Professional marketers are also frustrated by the difficult task of standing out in emails. Average click rates hover around two or three percent. That’s a low figure relative to the amount of time it takes a marketing team to design and send a compelling email. Plus, it can be difficult for marketers to connect emails to their actual websites or product in a way that invites a productive relationship with the consumer. 

Recipients and senders agree that email is broken. We’re relying on the same basic technology that was invented in the 1990s, interacting with static emails that are spiced up merely by a new background color or graphic. Might it be time for the email experience to be revamped?

Next Section: Solution


SAM Email is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company reinventing the modern email experience. SAM’s technology allows enterprises to send dynamic emails that behave more like web apps. With this added functionality, recipients can click, type, and browse within the email itself. 


SAM was initially developed as an airline email solution and was funded by JetBlue Technology Ventures and EL AL Airlines. SAM’s flagship email product allows consumers to browse dynamically-updating seat maps, order meals and baggage, and receive boarding passes within the email window. All of this combines to minimize the endless litany of pages typically necessary to book a flight. 


SAM is still focused on revolutionizing email in the airline industry. The company launched a pilot with LATAM Airlines that generated impressive results: a 500% increase in click-through rate and a 40% increase in sales conversion. However, SAM Email is also broadening its focus to other industries. Hotels could benefit from dynamically-updating room options, and consumers could browse seat maps for concerts and events in much the same fashion as airline emails. Ultimately, SAM sees itself reinventing marketing emails in multiple verticals with dynamic web app content. 


SAM Email’s parent company, Airto, was founded in 2012. Form C filings only report financials from 2019, so it is unclear whether SAM has been in operation for more than one year. In any case, SAM generated $40,000 in revenue in 2019 (presumably from the LATAM pilot, the only clear source of revenue thus far) and spent almost $700,000, primarily on payroll and benefits. As previously described, SAM has raised money from a group of airline accelerators in addition to a $650,000 crowdfunding round in 2019.

Next Section: Other

The Team

SAM Email was founded by Shi Li and Duncan Sham. CEO Li is supposedly a serial entrepreneur with eight years of experience in the digital and airline industries. He purports to leverage relationships with major air carriers (IAG, JetBlue, EL AL Airlines, etc.) and other major players like Google and Walmart to expand SAM’s partnership potential. That being said, it is unclear how Li gained this experience or built these relationships. He previously founded a shuttered accelerator and doesn’t list any additional relevant professional experience. 


Sham, SAM’s Product Manager, is the creative lead and manager of product development. He previously worked in advertising and designed campaigns for large global brands, including Gap, Adidas, McDonalds, and many more. He previously served as a Senior Designer at Vault49, a creative studio. 


Li and Sham work alongside William Warbington, SAM’s VP of Engineering and R&D. Warbington is a travel professional with more than 15 years of experience in the U.S. Air Force and a large airline IT provider. Warbington is not a full-time employee of SAM Email, but apparently devotes the “majority of his time” to this venture. 

Next Section: Other

Growth Plan

SAM is currently focused on additional product development and securing partnerships with additional airlines and enterprises in other travel and e-commerce verticals. The company reports that a large portion of crowdfunded capital will be used to develop the product, with another portion earmarked for marketing activities to build the brand.

Next Section: Why We Like it

Why We Like it

  • Differentiated product in a lucrative space: There are a lot of major email marketing corporations out there, because most every modern company runs some sort of email marketing program. Mailchimp — one of the largest B2B SaaS email providers — generates $700 million in revenue each year. Clearly, corporations pay for an email marketing tool, and SAM Email’s product is unique within this space. While dynamic, web app-like emails are not a priority for every company in every vertical, many companies would benefit tremendously from a more engaging email experience. Widespread adoption in the ecommerce vertical alone could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for SAM.

  • Powerful corporate partnerships with major airlines: Before SAM extends its offering to new verticals, it plans to nail emails for the airline industry. The company is already well along this path, having received funding and resources from JetBlue and EL AL Airlines, plus a major pilot with LATAM Airlines. One of the most difficult early hurdles for a B2B SaaS startup is securing mega-contracts with huge enterprises. SAM seems to have partially tackled that obstacle already.

  • Patented intellectual property: SAM Email’s unique, dynamic email technology is patented, so the company owns valuable intellectual property that could prove an enticing factor in acquisition evaluations. If a major email provider wants to seriously revamp its email product, the easiest option may be to acquire SAM. That exit event could prove lucrative for investors.

Next Section: Rating


SAM Email owns patents on genuinely compelling technology that does have the power to dramatically evolve how consumers interact with their emails. This highly differentiated product is playing in a lucrative space that is not particularly technologically advanced. Moreover, SAM has the corporate partnerships necessary to launch this email technology on a major stage. 


However, prospective investors should be wary of two red flags. First, SAM Email’s leadership team is relatively inexperienced in entrepreneurship and product development. CEO Shi Li seems to have relatively little professional experience. Co-founder and Product Manager Duncan Sham is undoubtedly a seasoned creative, but is perhaps unprepared to manage technical product development in B2B SaaS. Second, SAM Email’s valuation of $20 million is quite high relative to its $40,000 in revenue. The bulk of SAM’s $700,000 spending last year was in payroll and benefits, for a small team of three. Investors might consider whether the company’s leadership team is prepared to manage corporate finances. 


That being said, SAM Email’s compelling product makes a strong case for exit. The company could feasibly launch an IPO if it grew to be the dominant dynamic email provider for major enterprises across multiple verticals. Alternatively, the company’s patented technology could be a target for acquisition. For example, CM Group (the parent company of Campaign Monitor) acquired two email automation and personalization companies in 2018. These acquisitions indicate that the email marketing industry recognizes that early investment in technology may prove to be a differentiator. 


Frankly, all consumers should hope that SAM Email is widely adopted. We could all use a bit more excitement and functionality in our inboxes. SAM’s differentiated product, intellectual property, and corporate partnerships make that mission all the more likely to succeed. Therefore, SAM Email is a Deal to Watch. 

Founder Profile

SAM Email Founder Shi Li on the Future of Email

Email has become commonplace in all our lives. Each day, almost 120 billion consumer marketing emails hit inboxes. And professionals spend almost a third of their days reading and responding to email — an average of 120 messages per day. Despite this high usage, email has not changed or adapted much in the past decade or so.

SAM Email wants to change that. This Deal to Watch is creating email tech that can display real time information (such as store inventory or airline seats) and allow consumers to interact directly in the email. The company is starting with airlines but has plans to expand into many other verticals. We sat down with founder and CEO Shi Li to talk about email's current stagnation and just what makes the SAM Email team perfectly suited to answer this problem.

Note: This interview was conducted over email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Read Founder Interview

Founders: enhance your startup's credibility on KingsCrowd. Create an account to claim this raise page.
Add to portfolio
SAM Email by Airto on StartEngine
Platform: StartEngine
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $19,929,818
Price per Share: $0.89

Follow company

Follow SAM Email by Airto on StartEngine

Buy SAM Email by Airto's Deal Report

Warning: according to the close date for this deal, SAM Email by Airto may no longer be accepting investments.

SAM Email by Airto Deal Report

Get KingsCrowd’s comprehensive report on SAM Email by Airto including:

  • How our proprietary algorithm rates their current capital raise (1-5 stars)
  • Detailed price, market, team, differentiators, performance, and risk ratings
  • Whether SAM Email by Airto is undervalued or overvalued
  • Scores on the founding team and key personnel's background and expertise
  • Our deep-dive analyst report reviewing the deal's investment potential and bullish vs. bearish outlook

Buy the SAM Email by Airto deal report for only $10!

Email address:
Looking to buy more than one deal report? Get unlimited reports by upgrading to Edge