MailFrontier Company Timeline

Company Birth: 12/15/01
Company Final Day: 2/22/06

This is a collection of interesting dates and times in MailFrontier's history.  Written by Brian Wilson.

12/??/01 - Pavni and Brian had lunch at the Decathlon club, and decided to join up and do a startup around email and blocking Spam. 

12/??/01 - Pavni and Brian meet with Scott Dettmer (lawyer from Gunderson/Dettmer law firm, specializes in startups), (Bennett Yee is there), and Gunderson/Dettmer like the idea, and incorporate the new company under the name "MailFront".  The name was chosen from 20 or so ideas, the URL was available.

2/9/02 - Casey Jones worked from Ukraine creating website and business cards.

2/20/02 - Wendy Riggs helped find original 425 Sherman office.

3/4/02 - Monday - Suite 220, 425 Sherman Ave MailFront office opens for business.  Pavni and Brian begin.

3/19/02 - Damon Uyeda joins.

3/21/02 - Bob Adler's first day.

3/22/02 - Jon Feiber from Mohr, Davidow Ventures (MDV) hears that Pavni has started something new and insists on coming by the office.  Jon funded Pavni's last startup (Kendara).  Pavni and Brian are forced into giving the first of 53 pitches to VCs.  It goes "Ok", but Jon doesn't like the original idea of a consumer spam blocker, he suggests the corporate market.  An important thing to note is that Jon forced this meeting over Pavni and Brian's protests that they weren't ready, so the very first (of thousands) of MailFrontier's battle cry of "Oh my God, we're not ready yet!" was heard.  :-)

3/22/02 - Party to open our new office.  Click here to see some pictures.

3/25/02 - Scott Eikenberry joins.

4/10/02 - Casey Jones abandons the orphans and comes home from the Ukraine, starts working in office.

4/22/02 - David Koblas joins as a "founding engineer", the only other person besides Pavni and Brian that worked exclusively for equity in MailFrontier.

4/24/02 - First time meeting with Stewart Alsop of NEA, our future board member.  He came by the office to see us.

5/9/02 - Stewart Alsop provides first terms sheet.

5/13/02 - Monday, three partner's meetings, 8am at NEA, 12:30 at Benchmark, 2pm at MDV.  By 6pm all three firms call and say they want to invest.

5/14/02 - Black Tuesday - Eric Hahn comes by the office to evaluate us, Kevin Harvey mistakenly goes to Brian's apartment (Kevin got the address off of an old business card).  Kevin shows up late to the office, the meeting with Eric did not show our strengths. Within the next 2 days MDV and Benchmark back out. 

5/15/02 - Snickers (office dog owned by Christina Galindo) joins MailFrontier.  So does Christina, our first HR person.

6/4/02 - Paul Wieneke joins.

7/1/Mo - Draper Fisher partner meeting at 11am .

7/15/02 - Tim Nufire joins working for stock and IOUs.

7/19/02 - Terms Sheets are signed at 4:55pm , MailFrontier has funding!  Click here for picture of the moment after.

7/29/02 - Gleb Budman joins.

8/12/02 - the name Matador is thought up.  Click here for a picture of the room that figured it out.

8/20/02 - the name of the company is changes from MailFront to MailFrontier legally. 

8/26/02 - Matador Free Beta is launched!!!  Click here to read some articles about the launch.

9/20/02 - MailFrontier moves into new offices at 3250 Ash Ave near Fry's.

10/10/02 - Billy Ng joins as contractor.

10/22/02 - Mandi Sass joins

10/31/02 - Matador passes 10,000 downloads

11/1/02 - Jon Oliver joins.

11/15/02 - (approx date) Kurt Steinhaur joins as 1st VP of Sales.

11/21/02 - Matador 1.0 First Paid Version is launched!  First dollar of revenue made! Articles are here including the Walt Mossberg article.

11/22/02 - first MailFrontier ASG server sale (SBC Global) even though the product is not finished.

12/02/02 Shelby Mackay joins.

12/12/02 - First ASG install: CIO Solutions

1/15/03 - Billy Ng stops contracting, hires permanently..

2/1/03 - Snickers last day.  Poor dog has to eat kibble instead of Mr. Chow's chinese from here on out.  Christina Galindo (Snicker's owner) leaves also.

2/5/03 - Matador 2.0 beta with Outlook Express support released as optional download from homepage.

2/17/03 - ASG 1.0 LAUNCH!  (Demo Conference).  Articles here.

2/24/03 - Steve Chen joins.

3/24/03 - Matador 2.0 launches, includes support for Outlook Express in main Matador download.

3/24/03 Brad Taylor joins.

4/1/03 - Nilay Patel joins.

4/30/03 - (approximate date, should get from Rob Hull ?) - MailFrontier passes $100,000 in total sales.

5/19/03 - ASG 2.0 LAUNCH (with per-user junk store and per user settings and Ldap integration).

5/30/03 - MailFrontier hits the lifetime revenue of $250,000.  Also, first Solaris ASG install ever at Portal Software.

7/3/03 - MailFrontier hits the lifetime revenue of $500,000.

7/17/03 - Signed 2nd Round Financing Terms Sheet from Menlo Ventures (with participation from NEA and DFJ).  Click here to see a picture of the check for $5 million when it finally arrived a couple weeks later.

7/28/03 - Matador 3.0 launch, includes support for blocking messenger popups and wireless device support and personal training.

7/30/03 - Matador passes 100,000 downloads for the lifetime achievement.

8/30/03 - ASG sold to AG Edwards (20,000 mailbox deal) and SAP (Fortune 100 company with 35,000 employees) for two great referenceable accounts.

8/30/03 - Kurt Steinhaur (1st VP of Sales) leaves MailFrontier.  Patti Zullo joins as 2nd VP of sales.

9/15/03 - MailFrontier hits the lifetime revenue of $1 million.

10/15/03 - Sona Patel joins.

10/27/03 - Deanne Phillips joins as Director of Public Relations.

10/28/03 - NBC closes, for $210,000.  The highest price paid by any customer so far.

11/5/03 - First 24 hour support phone call gets Brian out of bed.  The call is from David Grub at Highwoods.

1//15/03 - ASG gets its 200th paid customer.

11/21/03 - MailFrontier moves office to 1801 Page Mill.  Click here for a photo of the employees the day of the move at the old 3250 Ash Street location.  Click here for another photo.

12/17/03 - Turner (CNN) dials their aggressiveness sliders to the max, buys a $5 SCSI controller, and throws the switch quarantining a million messages a day for all their employees in an ASG trial.  The server collapses and all heck breaks loose at MailFrontier for the next 48 hours fixing and tuning and optimizing to make the sale by the end of the year.  It closes on December 31st for $225,000 as the biggest sale ever.

12/31/03 - MailFrontier closes the year, exceeding it's yearly revenue target by bringing in $2,688,200 in 2003.

1/15/04 - famous "Superbowl Advertisement?" board meeting.  Click Picture1, Picture2, Picture3 to see aftermath.

2/1/04 - Eric Hawkes joins.

2/20/04 - Justine Jin joins the accounting department.

2/23/04 - DEMO conference, and RSA tradeshow in San Francisco, MailFrontier launches Anti-Fraud/Anti-Virus/Policy in ASG 3.0 beta, and launches Matador 4.0 final with Anti-Fraud.  This marks kick-off of "Nothing" advertising campaign including TV ads on CNN, and Business Week two page print ads.  You can see some of the advertisements and messaging here.

3/12/04 - David Koblas leave MailFrontier to join Yahoo.

3/22/04 - MailFrontier employs more than 100 people, broken down like: 60 full time, 14 contractors, 27 India outsourced (total is 103)

3/25/04 - Brad Taylor leaves MailFrontier to join Google.

3/26/04 - MailFrontier Enterprise Gateway 3.0 officially ships!  (Includes Anti-Virus, Anti-Fraud, Policy Management.)  The NAI (McAfee) anti-virus deal was also signed this day, in the nick of time.

3/31/04 - Q1 closes, booking about $800k of revenue.

4/8/04 - Ram Ramkumar starts as VP of Engineering.

4/28/04 - Kathi Fox first day doing some contract work for marketing (not full time employee at this point)

5/14/04 - Steve Chen leaves.

6/15/04 - Anne Bonaparte becomes the new CEO, Pavni becomes chairman of the board.

6/22/04 - Brian Wilson's last day as a MailFrontier board member.  The board meets, approves Anne as CEO and a board member, and thus Brian loses his board seat as always was in the original funding agreements.

6/30/04 - Q2 closes, booking $1.74 million (largest quarter so far) and a total of "270 transactions". More than 200 new gateway customers aquired during this quarter (bringing the total to around 700 gateway customers.  New customers this quarter include 7-eleven, Fujitsu, Lawson, and George Mason University.

7/5/04 - Patti Zullo (2nd VP of sales) leaves MailFrontier.

7/6/04 - Kathi Fox comes on full time as VP of Marketing

7/23/04 - First Appliance sale to Joliet Junior College with 30,000 email users

8/6/04 - Tim Nufire's last day.

8/16/04 - Edward McGinnis starts (3rd VP of sales).

8/23/04 - Launch of SBE and Appliance on the website, first SBE sale. 

9/7/04 - Bobbi Frioli starts (VP of channel sales)

9/30/04 - Q3 closes, booking $1.7 million ($3k larger than last quarter).  New customers this quarter include Sentara Health (15k users), Echostar (10k users), Anixter (6k users), HealthEast (5.5k users) and the US House of Representatives (14k users, an Appliance deal for 8 appliances) which brought in $188k in Q3, the total deal size was around $250k but some was training and installation and so could not be "booked" until Q4.

10/22/04 - Damon Uyeda leaves MailFrontier to work at Oracle with Paul Wieneke (another MailFrontier alumni).  Damon was the third person to work for MailFrontier in any capacity, and the first full time employee.  Damon gave MailFrontier 2 years and 7 months of engineering.

11/9/04 - Zone Labs released their product for the first time bundled with MailFrontier Desktop (Matador).  This doubled the size of our thumbprint database in the first 10 days.  The thumbprint database at this moment has 508,146 domains, and 249,360 phone numbers in it for reputation.  Total thumbprints just passed 5 million, with 3 million new submissions every 21 days.

11/17/04 - Marketing launch of Enterprise Gateway 3.5 at the INBOX trade show in Atlanta.  (Engineering release of 3.5.0.3065 to general availability was 11/22/04).  The 3.5 release was the first international release, shipping with a GUI in English, Japanese, German, Spanish, and French.  It also included "Likely Virus" (Day 0 Virus) protection for the first time.  It was also an enormous infrastructure release, removing KDB from the product in favor of SleepyCat (BerkeleyDB) and also adding the "Firebird DB" relational database for reports.  The proprietary MailFrontier Mime parsers and settings and address book data structures were all reworked to make them cleaner and faster and simpler and do more caching for performance.

12/14/04 - "Crush" quarantines first virus (test virus) on outbound path running on MailFrontier servers.  This is the first outbound release, soon to be released to customers, running on our own corporate servers using Port25's MTA to queue and route email on the outbound path out of MailFrontier.

12/31/04 - Q4 closes, booking $1.93 million.  Total for 2004 is $6,004,000.  (So MailFrontier lifetime of  $8,692,000.)  MailFrontier aquired 132 new Enterprise Gateway customers this quarter.  New customers this quarter include City of Zurich (8k users), OfficeMax (6k users), British Columbia Department of Justice (5,500 users), Oregon Department of Corrections (5K users), Sun Chemical (5k users).  The largest deal was $103k for A/V Appliance Renewal for IDX Systems.

2/15/05 - MailFrontier Announces Gateway 4.0 (click here for a screenshot of the website) which includes Outbound email processing and an MTA at the RSA tradeshow in San Francisco.  The product is running inhouse, but a couple days away from the first beta customer installation.

2/24/05 - Mike Wegbreit leaves MailFrontier to work at VMware.  Mike had been with MailFrontier for about 18 months, being one of the early salespeople.

3/3/05 - 1000th Enterprise Customer Signed.  Harrison Caldwell was the sales person, the company was SSA Marine with 2,500 users.

3/14/05 - MailFrontier crosses the $10 million lifetime revenue line!

3/14/05 - Pavni Diwanji's last day in the office.  She stays on as Chairman of the Board, but no longer is on the payroll as an employee, and is going to spend the next 4 months in England on vacation.  Pavni gave MailFrontier 3 years and 10 days in the office, was the senior partner of the original two founding partners (Brian Wilson was the other), and was CEO for the the first 2 and a quarter years of MailFrontier's existence.

3/28/05 - Gateway 4.0 officially ships.  This has outbound threat protection for the first time (Anti-Virus, Zombie, policy) and also includes an integrated MTA.  It also contained LDAP Groups accessible by the Policy module for the first time.  First customer who officially paid for it is WebMD for $69,365.

3/31/05 - Q1 closes, booking $1.83 million ($550k renewals, $1.28M new business which is huge "new business" growth over the previous quarter of $650k.  The renewal number is low because of the bad quarter a year prior did not offer much renewal potential).  MailFrontier acquired 198 new Gateway customers this quarter.  New customers this quarter include WebMD and Sirius.  Biggest international deal was $21,645 for EWE-Aktiengesellschaft brought to us from our German reseller Ampeg.  CDW (a reseller) sold $491k worth of MailFrontier products in this one quarter alone.

4/5/05 - Deanne Phillips promoted from Director of Public Relations to Senior Director of Marketing (acting VP of outbound Marketing replacing Kathi Fox).

5/26/05 - Gateway 4.0.3 ships.  With this release, HTTPS is supported fully in the web GUI (click a checkbox and you are running HTTPS), many bugs are fixed found in the initial 4.0.0 release, and on this day over 600 Gateway customers are running 4.0.2 or 4.0.3 in the field showing good stability.

6/24/05 - MailFrontier crosses over $2 Million in bookings for one quarter for the first time.  This quarter ends on 6/30/05.  At this moment we have about 1,200 Gateway customers, with more than 900 of them running version 4.0.2 or later (which has inbound/outbound/queuingMTA).

6/30/05 - Q2 closes, booking $2.5 million ($1.1M renewals, $1.4M new business).  MailFrontier acquired 231 new Gateway customers this quarter (for a total of 1,325 Gateway customers), 32 of which were Appliance deals (14 percent).  New customers this quarter include City of Portland ($60k) and Callaway Golf ($42k).  Our biggest reseller of CDW brought in $650k (up from $491k last quarter).    Europe brought in $161k, Japan brought in $0.  The www.mailfrontier.com website received a record 46,750 visitors in the top week of this quarter.  At this point, 14 percent of MailFrontier Gateway customers have less than 100 mailboxes, 58 percent have 100 - 2,000 mailboxes, 21 percent have 2,000 - 8,000 mailboxes, and 8 percent have more than 8,000 mailboxes.

8/29/05 - Gateway on Linux brings in the very first dollar of revenue.  Our existing customer "Healtheast" bought an M500-L appliance as part of an upgrade package accepting more products and services from MailFrontier for $9,500.  The first official "new sale" to a "brand new customer" is "Meadville Medical" for $17,841 on 9/13/05.

9/30/05 - Q3 closes, booking $2.92 million ($1.2M renewals, $1.7M new business).  MailFrontier acquired 183 new Gateway customers this quarter (for a total of 1,508 Gateway customers), 57 were Appliance deals (31 percent), broken down as 16 Appliance perpetual and 41 Appliance subscription.  New customers this quarter include Warner Music Group ($150k) and West Marine ($49k).  NBC renewed for $149k  MailFrontier Desktop (Matador) brought in $97k.  Europe brought in $66k, Japan & APAC brought in $0, and we got one deal in Jamaica for $31k.  Our biggest reseller CDW was slightly down from the previous quarter at $525k.  The last week of the quarter was a record for MailFrontier of $478K in bookings in one week.  Linux provided 4 deals and a total of $35k of revenue in this quarter (about 1 percent of MailFrontier's revenue).

8/31/05 - Ram Ramkumar (VP of Engineering) leaves to start his own startup.

11/9/05 - Wednesday, Shirley Foster's first day as new VP of Engineering.

11/21/05 - Monday, released Gateway 4.5.0 as default download (not auto-updated).  New features include Scheduled Reports, STARTTLS, Approval Boxes in Policy, sped up reports, Email Address Rewriting.

12/8/05 - Thursday - Pavni Diwanji resigns from the board of directors, Brian Wilson is elected back onto the board to replace Pavni (Brian left the board 18 months ago, see earlier in this timeline).  Also, the series "C-1" funding closed and was deposited in the MailFrontier checking accounts.  This is the 4th round of funding, named "C-1" because it has essentially the same price as the 3rd "C-Round".  It is for $3 million from the internal investors (NEA, DFJ, Menlo) and also comes with a $2 million loan from a bank.  So MailFrontier has sold $26 million in shares to investors, plus borrowed an additional $2 million from a bank that must be repaid.

12/16/05 - Friday, released Gateway 4.5.2 as default download for wider audience distribution with enhanced embedded image detection, new 21 digit Mlf-Unique-Id and lots of bug fixes.

12/31/05 - Q4 closes, booking $2.5 million ($1.2M renewals, $1.3M new business).  Total for 2005 is $9.8M.  MailFrontier lifetime total of $15.8M. MailFrontier acquired 164 new Gateway customers this quarter (for a total of 1,672 Gateway customers), 82 were Appliance deals (50 percent), broken down as 20 Appliance perpetual and 62 Appliance subscription.  New customers this quarter include University of South Carolina ($74k) and Eastern Connecticut State University ($43k).  Assurion renewed for $50k.  Arvato (in Germany) was up sold for $74k  MailFrontier Desktop (Matador) brought in $133k.  Europe brought in $108k, Japan & APAC brought in $0.  Our biggest reseller CDW was slightly down from the previous quarter at $525k.

2/8/06 - SonicWall acquires MailFrontier for $31 million.  Click here to read the official announcement.  This was the day of the press release, the deal closed around 10pm the night before. 

2/22/06 - At 6:08pm the MailFrontier lawyers emailed out and said the merger was final, and closed.  Click here to see the final document that was filed ending MailFrontier's life.

6/16/06 - Friday, Brian Wilson leaves SonicWall.  We had successfully rebranded the products to be SonicWall (release 4.7), released 6 new appliances, and went through an auto-update release of 4.8 after that.  At this time there were none of the MailFrontier sales people or SEs left at SonicWall, but much of the engineering and customer support teams are 90 percent intact from the time of acquisition.