Goodmail Systems to shut down this month

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E-mail services provider Goodmail Systems will cease operations on February 8, its chief executive told Direct Marketing News. The Mountain View, CA-based company employed 35 and was founded in 2003.

Daniel Dreymann, cofounder and CEO of Goodmail, said the biggest reason for the shutdown was an aborted acquisition attempt by a firm he would only call a “Fortune 500 company.” Dreymann said he could not reveal more information about the one-time suitor because he is bound by a nondisclosure agreement.

“We were on track to be acquired,” he said. “We got a terms sheet, and they left us at the altar at the last minute.”

The company's partnership with Yahoo, which allowed e-mails sent by Goodmail to be certified on the Yahoo Internet services provider, ended in early 2010. As a result, Goodmail lost Yahoo's broad customer network. Goodmail had a business model dependent on the number of people receiving its certified e-mails.

“This merger was supposed to address the issue,” Dreymann said. “But when it did not conclude, I had no other solution but to shut down. At the end of the day, I could not sustain the losses.”

The White House, Target and Williams-Sonoma were among hundreds of Goodmail clients, said Dreymann.

Dreymann said in an e-mail to customers that the company is “working with our ISP partners to accommodate a transition period for your IP addresses so as to decrease the effort required for warm up. In the meantime, please begin to transition your traffic off CertifiedEmail.”

He also told DMN that his company was a catalyst for including rich functionality in e-mail, including the deliverability of video and interactive messages. Dreymann added that Goodmail was in the midst of a pilot program with Microsoft.

“I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish,” he said. “We were a small company that managed to sign agreements with companies like AOL, Comcast and Verizon.”

Peter Horan resigned as the company's CEO last February.

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