Email has served as a reliable communications tool for years, but that does not mean that startups have stopped trying to put a fresh take on the concept as, earlier this year, Irish startup Hiri unveiled a platform that it hopes will change the way that businesses use email.
The basic here here is that users can divide emails, sent or received, into those that require you, or someone else, to do something (the “actionable” pile) and those that that merely serve as a heads-up (the “FYI” group). When sending an “actionable” email, you can add a note or question for the person to whom you are offering the task. And, what’s interesting here is that they have dropped the “subject” line to the bottom of the screen, with the idea that we really do not know what to put as the subject until we have already written the message. Having received an email, users are able to delete it, delegate it to a team-member, defer to a certain time, or drag them into a “to-do” list.
In addition to re-arranging your inbox, Hiri is looking to help their users recognize just how often they check their email by offering a dashboard that indicates how many emails the person has received that day and allows them to click a 30-minute timer (until the dashboard re-appears) and move on to other tasks.
Hiri charges on a per-user basis, with prices ranging from free (up to 10 users), to $5 for smaller teams, and $2 for enterprise-level customers. Each fee recurs on a monthly basis.
Dave Power, co-founder and COO at Hiri, tells me that it took them about 2 years to build the platform and that they unveiled it 4 months ago. Power declined to reveal how many users they have at this point, as they still a pretty young company, but did state that they are currently running trials with 2 Fortune 500 companies, both of which are household names.
In terms of funding, Power says that they have closed 2 rounds, an angel round worth 350K Euro and a VC round worth 1 million Euro. The angel round included investment from a global VP at Facebook, a director of LinkedIn, and Telefonica. And the VC round was concluded with Delta Partners and ACT Venture Capital.
With that influx of cash, Hiri recently opened an office in New York City and is currently focused on sales.