I sometimes tease my sales team that the end of the year is a time for rest for everyone but them, as they close their final deals. But the truth is that all of us—sales teams, engineers, marketers, support staff, CEOs—need time to consider the year that’s just ended and the new one that’s beginning. That pause and reflection is an essential part of growth.

2017 was another high-growth year for SparkPost. We delivered more email than ever before—over 150 billion messages for the year. Our business continues to grow—especially our cloud annual recurring revenue (ARR). The vast majority of our new customers are SparkPost cloud customers, and two-thirds of our annual sales are now in the cloud.

That growth would not be possible without the trust that our community of customers has placed in us. SparkPost’s customers are a remarkable, diverse group of innovators—and each understands how crucial API-driven email delivery is to the success of their businesses. Companies like NetSuite, Cisco, Netflix and LendingTree are among those who joined us this year.

Of course, it’s the work by developers at businesses large and small that continues to amaze me. Developers are the heart and soul of our business. This past year, we were delighted to contribute back in the form of open source innovations like the HEML responsive email markup language, as well as participating in grassroots community events. (If you happen to be in San Francisco, be sure to check out the brand new #emailgeeksSF group!)

Our partnerships continue to be an essential part of helping customers of all sizes succeed. This year, SparkPost was certified as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Technology Partner and is now available to customers on AWS Marketplace—and you may have seen our big, award-winning presence at this year’s AWS re:Invent conference. We continue to develop close relationships with innovative martech providers like Iterable and Cordial. Meanwhile, 18 of the 20 largest email service providers and marketing automation vendors now rely on SparkPost’s technology to power email delivery for their customers.

Like all entrepreneurs, I’m an optimist. It’s a necessary quality for anyone who’s willing to risk time, effort, reputation, and investment in the belief that there’s a market of customers willing to change the status quo and buy into a better way of doing things.

Perhaps my optimism is one of the reasons I particularly appreciate the start of a new year. I look forward to working with you as we build upon the accomplishments of the past year. Let me know what you’d like to see from SparkPost in the months ahead. Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter, Slack, or email.

I hope you have had a joyful season with those people that matter to you. On behalf of the team at SparkPost, I’d like to wish you a successful, prosperous, and happy new year. And thank you for being part of our community and the reason for our successes in 2017 and in the year to come.

Phillip Merrick