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How Resend is Building a New Kind of Email Platform for Developers

The world of email marketing moves slowly, with powerful and prehistoric incumbents dominating the market with tools that are difficult to use, difficult to master, and offer little in the way of developer experience or joy.

Resend is trying to change all that by building a modern email sending platform specifically tailored to developers. The YC-backed company has a full head of steam with an impressive product aimed at developers who need extensible email primitives (and great documentation).

We were lucky enough to sit down with Resend founder Zeno Rocha to talk about building a company around email in 2024.

Let’s jump into it!

Resend builds email for developers

Resend builds email for developers

Railway: Sometimes it feels like email is a prehistoric technology from an earlier era … yet it’s critical to every single internet business today and will be in 10 years from now. Is that just because incumbent email marketing providers are making bad software? How do you explain that?

Zeno: I feel like email is the most underrated technology in the world. It's been around forever and it's still the most effective way to communicate with your users.

When you look at all the biggest players, you'll notice that they were all founded around 2009/2010, and they all have been acquired by now.

Because of that, it's common to see them only prioritizing enterprise requirements and optimizing for sales-led growth.

Nobody is building an exceptional developer experience. Nobody is trying to innovate.

There isn’t a single developer-first email platform in the market today. We want to change that.

The Resend email dashboard

The Resend email dashboard

Railway: Do developers make good customers for an email product? It seems like email is so tricky to get right. What are your thoughts on what your customers want out of an email provider?

Zeno: When you think about building a SaaS product, you need to build an authentication flow, then you need to build a sign up confirmation email, a reset password email, a welcome email, and so on.

Because communication is a fundamental part of any software, developers are great customers for an email product. They are uniquely positioned to integrate their favorite tools early on.

As for what they want, I believe they want a tool that is easy to use, has great documentation, and is reliable.

We can have the most beautiful product in the world, but if it's not online or if the emails are going to spam, then it's all for nothing.

Resend recently hosted its first Launch Week

Resend recently hosted its first Launch Week

Railway: You recently had a big Launch Week — can you give us the tl;dr on what you shipped that week? Also what advice would you give to yourself before running a Launch Week next time?

Zeno: This past Launch Week was a huge milestone for us. When we started Resend, we focused only on building the best API to send transactional emails.

As we continued to grow, users would often ask us if they could use Resend for marketing emails as well. Having a different tool for each type of email is a pain, so we decided to build a solution that would allow you to send both transactional and marketing emails in the same place.

During this Launch Week, we announced two big features, Audiences and Broadcasts, which enable you to have a single source of truth for all your emails.

As for advice, I would say don't forget to buy a lot of coffee because it's going to be an intense week. 😅

Railway: What’s a new feature or capability that you’re super excited about right now? We’d love to get a glimpse of where Resend is going …

Zeno: Funny enough there's no new feature that I'm more excited about than scaling our infrastructure and making sure we can handle the growth we're experiencing.

We're currently sending millions of emails every month, and we need to make sure we can handle the load.

Resend started with email, but we're not stopping there. We're building a communications platform, so you can expect to see more interesting ways to talk with your users in the future.

Resend provides quickstart guides for a large number of languages

Resend provides quickstart guides for a large number of languages

Railway: How does Railway come into the picture? Can you let us know how Railway helps make your company and product easier or better?

Zeno: Railway is a game changer for us.

We're currently serving more than 80,000 developers with a small team of 6 people, so we need to be as efficient as humanly possible.

Every minute we spend on infrastructure is a minute we're not spending on building the best email product in the world.

If it wasn't for Railway, I don't think we would be able to grow as fast as we are today.

Railway: If readers are interested in learning more about Resend, what’s the easiest way to get started?

Zeno: Definitely check our website, resend.com. We spent a lot of time trying to make it as easy as possible for developers to understand what we do and how we can help them.

You can also visit react.email, which is our open source project with more than 12,000 stars on GitHub.

And of course, you can follow us on X @resend.