Email continues to be a tempting target to entrepreneurs. After all, email is nearly ubiquitous, and yet almost no one loves the experience of using it.
June.ai today joins a long list of startups that looked to change up the way we use email, but this latest company is taking a different approach.
Co-founder and CEO Allie Sutton said that the team didn’t look at the way people use email as a starting point, but rather looked at the way people deal with communication and information flow on the whole. That then led June to build a platform that doesn’t necessarily replace email, but is rather backwards compatible with email services.
Here’s how it works:
First and foremost, June recognizes the difference between an email conversation with another person and an email from a brand, platform, etc. June separates those conversations into two separate inboxes. For informational emails, like “Your Amazon Order has Shipped” and “Check In For Your Flight,” June puts those messages in an easy-to-browse feed.
Communication-based messages, on the other hand, are arranged in an inbox that looks much closer to an iMessage or IM interface than an email interface. Conversations are also organized by people and not by thread or subject, letting users get a clear picture of their full conversation history with an individual without worrying about particular threads. As part of this person-based organization, June also organizes files based on who sent them.
Another feature from June is ‘gatekeeper’, letting users quickly unsubscribe, approve or block new companies or people that are sending them emails.
With $1.5 million in funding, June isn’t immediately concerned with revenue but rather looking to spread the word about the platform and promote adoption.
June works with a number of the biggest email providers, including Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook.
Sutton said that adoption will be the biggest challenge.
“Folks have built the way in which they process emails,” said Sutton. “Some over a few years and some over decades. We’ve built a more efficient way for them to process that information, but giving users enough explanation and information that they can adopt this new way of gathering and executing on information communication is our biggest challenge. We need to prove it’s more efficient for them.”