Inbox Wants to be the Next-generation Email Service

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inboxA new email platform dubbed Inbox has emerged from stealth, with an open-source engine to unify the world of email, including enterprise complete with a developer API and cloud service for building next-generation email apps.

Co-founded by Dropbox and MIT alums, Inbox platform works with Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange, and others, and provides a single modern API for both consumer and enterprise email accounts.  The co-founders say the Inbox platform unifies more than 30 years of complex email standards and formats, allowing new apps to be created faster and with fewer bugs.

“Email is the database of your life. It’s the digital home for your conversations, memories, and identity,” said cofounder and CEO, Michael Grinich. “But for developers, working with email is incredibly difficult, and requires learning archaic protocols and formats. The Inbox API solves that, and lets you focus on building your app.”

Grinich, an ex-Dropbox engineer and designer at Nest, cofounded Inbox last year with Christine Spang, another MIT alum who was an early Linux kernel engineer at Ksplice (acquired by Oracle).

“Storing the world’s email data for secure and fast access is a monumental task,” said Spang. “We’re solving this from the ground up.”

The Inbox API provides simple REST endpoints for accessing, modifying, and sending mail, and is compatible with existing providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Enterprise support for Microsoft Exchange means the platform is also compatible with more than 300 million estimated email accounts used by businesses worldwide.

The Inbox sync engine is open source, and currently works with Gmail and Yahoo Mail, soon expanding to all IMAP providers. Enterprise users on Microsoft Exchange may request access to the Inbox Developer Program, which supports ActiveSync and is currently in private beta.

The San Francisco-based firm received seed funding from top-tier investors, including Fuel Capital, SV Angel, CrunchFund, Data Collective, Betaworks, and others.

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