Getting out of bed in the morning can be painful and Sunrise is trying to improve that experience with good design. Today the startup that delivers a ‘smart’ and beautiful’ digest of your day announced closing a $2.2 million round of funding.
The founders of Sunrise are ex-Foursquare designers Jeremy Le Van and Pierre Valade. They were disappointed with the available calendar options and decided to create a better designed alternative that focuses on user experience. The platform connects APIs from sources where you might have events saved, such as Facebook, Google Calendar, and Eventbrite, and assembles all of that information into one digestible email.
“Calendars is one space that hasn’t really evolved in the past years, and it’s time to connect all the information together in a smart way,” Valade said. “When users wake up, it’s already their routine to check their emails, so we are in the natural flow they’re used to. It is both simple and powerful. We designed at least 25 different variations before finding the right one that will work both on mobile and desktop. I think we’ve designed the best email ever.”
Sunrise goes beyond scheduling and also pulls in information relevant to your agenda. It is integrated with LinkedIn so you can see profiles of people you are scheduled to meet with, and also provides directions to appointments through Google Maps, weather reports, and even tidbits about sunrise and sunset times, and birthdays.
Sunrise launched in November 2012. At the time, 50 percent of early adopters were opening their Sunrise emails everyday which Valade said is high compared to traditional emails. Resolute and NextView Ventures co-led the round, with participation from Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, Adam Rothenberg and David Tisch at BoxGroup, 500 Startups, and Terrapin Bail. Angel investors include Dave Morin of Path, Andrew Kortina of Venmo, Adam Nash and Elliot Shmukler of LinkedIn, Hunter Walk of YouTube, Gustar Alstromer from AirBnB, Adam Mosseri from Facebook and others.
Sunrise is free and available on the App Store. A digital calendar isn’t exactly a new idea and in addition to Google Calendar and iCal, Tempo, Calengoo, Fantastical, GoCal (and more) want to help you organize your schedule. It’s a crowded space and Sunrise hopes to win it with design. The startup is based on New York City.