Problem: Mass emails come in to your office all the time, and there’s no way to collaborate on the perfect response. Solution: That’s where Front, a startup from Y Combinator’s 14th class, comes in.
Front’s product acts like a software layer on top of the IMAP or company email platforms we’re used to. Front provides shared inbox features along with new ways of managing email, like adding collaboration and social features.
For instance, emails to group accounts like firstname.lastname@example.org can be discussed by a group of recipients within a continuous space, instead of being endlessly forwarded and replied to, creating confusing nests of responses.
Front has now announced that it has raised a $3.1 million seed round led by Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC. A number of SaaS-focused VC firms also participated, including BOLDStart, Point Nine Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and a number of angel investors.
Among the angels were Gmail’s creator Paul Buchheit, Yahoo former chief product officer Geoff Ralston and Yahoo Communication Products SVP Jeff Bonforte.
Unlike traditional inbox applications, Front enables teams to collaborate when managing shared emails. It also offers features like assignments, automated workflows, and email comments.
“It’s like a multi-player version of Gmail,” says Laurent Perrin, CTO and co-founder of Front.
In one use case, HomeJoy, Detour, and Statuspage.io are using Front to handle email in their customer support operations. Some law firms are using it to collaborate on cases. Design agencies use it to manage customer interactions around projects. Front customer Mailchimp uses it to coordinate partnership interactions among business development team members.
Front’s CEO Mathilde Collin says her company has seen revenue growth of 10 to 15 percent per week since launching the product this summer.
“Front isn’t just designed to handle email collaboration,” Collin says. Other communication channels are supported, and you can manage incoming tweets or SMS messages as well.
“This provide an integral view of your customer or employee interactions”, she added.
Front co-founders Mathilde Collin and Laurent Perrin have now moved to San Francisco from France and will use this funding round ramp up product development, sales, and marketing.