AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Umuse, Inc. today announced the release of its beta application for workplace communication, introducing a new way to combine email and chat into a single message feed. Founded by former Spiceworks Founder and CEO Scott Abel, the company also announced $5 million in seed funding from Shasta Ventures, Next Coast Ventures and Floodgate Capital to test and develop the concept, and bring it to market.
For many people, the volume of email, chat, text and other messages in today’s workplace has reached a breaking point. In the last 20 years, Internet message volume has grown 1,000-fold, while the number of users has only grown by a factor of 25. The typical business user now juggles three to four communication applications and 100’s of messages per day, forcing them to continually shift context from one tool to another. This translates into significant frustration, distraction and loss of productivity.
Umuse aims to address this problem, so users can spend less time managing their communication and more time communicating.
The Umuse application combines the power and flexibility of email, with the speed and intimacy of chat, prioritized in a single, Facebook-like message feed. Instead of creating yet another communication channel, Umuse works seamlessly with existing services such as Gmail and Slack. In Umuse, users can quickly scan, zoom, reply to, and search messages across all channels:
- Scan: all email and chat messages together in a single, prioritized feed
- Zoom: in on auto-opened messages from the people who matter most
- Reply: instantly, inline and in-context with expressive features such as emojis and GIFs
- Search: all your email and chat messages in one application
“Email has gone from being a tool that works for people, to additional work they now have to do. Add in chat, text and other forms of messaging and it just exacerbates the problem, creating a drain and drag on worker productivity,” said Thomas Ball, Co-founder and Managing Director at Next Coast Ventures. “Companies need a better approach to bring all these communication channels together. With the Umuse team’s deep experience developing simple solutions to complex problems, I’m excited see how they solve this one.”
Umuse developed its Inner Circle technology to help users quickly find those messages that matter most. Using machine learning, it builds a personal communication graph of conversations, which adapts and learns over time. The algorithm weighs who you talk to, how often and how quickly you respond, and auto-opens messages from those people so they stand out in your feed. Users can tune and customize these settings as needed, so they have complete control.
More than 5,000 users participated in early trials of the product, providing critical feedback on the features and functionality they liked most. Today’s beta release is the culmination of that process, and the first step toward getting public input on the product.
“In today’s business environment, information is coming at us at an exponential rate, but sadly our attention is finite. Umuse offers a fresh, new way to embrace information volume at work without feeling overwhelmed by it,” said Scott Abel. “By integrating with the channels you already use, we provide a single view across all your digital conversations at work – so now you can focus on communicating, instead of managing multiple tools. It’s smart, self-learning and frictionless, the perfect solution for the modern worker.”
Umuse is on a mission to tame communication chaos in the workplace. A personal communication platform for the enterprise, Umuse combines the power and flexibility of email, with the speed and intimacy of chat, prioritized into one Facebook-like message feed. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Umuse is backed by Shasta Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, and Floodgate Capital. For more information, visit www.umuse.io or find us on Twitter: @umuseio; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/umuseio/; and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/umuse/.