Email has always been a poor file manager and startup MxHero wants to change the way we manage email attachments. To that end, it announced it closed its seed round today with a $500K contribution. Funders include lead investor White Star Capital along with contributors GW Holdings, Esther Dyson, Ari Kushner, Actinic Ventures and a strategic Miami-based investor group they chose not to name.
The $500K in additional funds bring the total seed round to $1.8M.
MxHero has a number of email management products, but its primary one is called Mail2Cloud, a server side tool that hopes to bring order to email file management and reduce the overall costs associated with storing those files.
Mail2Cloud sits in between your email server and your cloud storage vendor. Supported email vendors include online email systems from Google Apps and Office 365 as well typical on-premise systems such as Exchange and Zimbra.
On the cloud storage side, they can work with Box and Google Drive today, and are working on versions that will support Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox as well.
Company CEO and co-founder Alex Panagides, says he believes we are on a the edge of a convergence of email and cloud storage, and even though it’s a tad self-serving for him to say it, it’s probably true. “We are on the convergence path with email and cloud storage. It’s probably going to be the most significant change since web mail and I don’t think it’s a risk to say the merger of cloud storage as part of the email experience will be commonplace and widespread. The writing is on the wall,” Panagides explained.
Panagides says email is a poor file transmission service and it’s even worse at storage. It creates bloated files by increasing the file size, leaves hard drives littered with attachments and multiple versions of the same files, forcing users to search for the one they need.
MxHero strips out the attachment and puts in your cloud storage folder organized by sender. Versions are sorted and clearly labeled so you can easily see the latest one (and get a previous one if you want to compare). He points out that you get all of the advantages of the cloud storage tool, meaning for instance in Box, you can preview it on a mobile device without opening it or have a conversation around the document.
While it’s debatable whether cloud storage is truly cheaper than on-premise, clearly having one single source document and a link to that document is going to be more efficient than cluttering drives with multiple versions of the same files, and he says even if it’s a wash, files stored in cloud are going to be 30 percent smaller because of the way email systems encode attachments.
Panagides says his product is always on and always moving the attachments to a single, central place in the cloud where users can find the files they need without a lot of work or scrolling through long email threads looking for the little paper clip icon and hoping you have the latest version.
And he points out, the cloud storage tools have offline modes now, so you can sync with your device when you know you won’t be online.