Superhuman, also known as Superhuman Labs, is a company offering an email client claiming to be the fastest in the world. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California and was founded in 2015 by Conrad Irwin, Rahul Vohra, and Vivek Sodera.
The Superhuman email client requires users to request access to the application on the Superhuman website that asks them a series of questions about their preferred work flow and habits regarding email. After being granted access to use the Superhuman email client, the user will completed a mandatory videoconference tutorial about how to use the application. The Superhuman email client uses the users existing email accounts and only works with Gmail and Google G Suite emails (as of June 2019).
The Superhuman email client has an official 100ms rule for the speed of everything a user does when using Superhuman, and the company claims their email client is the fastest in the world. The Superhuman email client achieves its speed primarily through using the most computational power possible, and allowing users to do everything within the Superhuman email client with their keyboard through keyboard shortcuts. The companies founder, Rahul Vohra, says that:
From a customer's perspective the pitch is really simple. We've built the fastest email experience in the world. Our Customers get through their inbox twice as fast as before, get to the emails that matter faster, and many of them see inbox zero for the first for the first time in years - which, as you can imagine, is pretty life changing.
Superhuman allows users to gain insights using social media integration (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) about the people they are emailing such as: what they look like, where they are located, and what they are doing for work. Their email client allows users to pick the time their email is sent, see when their messages have been read, and un-send emails for any reason such as a change in plans or noticing of a typo. Superhuman uses artificial intelligence to sort emails based on a users perception of which emails are most important to them.
Features built into the Superhuman email clients have been accused of violating user privacy through their location tracking, pixel tracking, and read receipt features. Mike Davidson, former Twitter executive, made the following statement about Superhuman:
They've identified a feature that provides value to some of their customers (ie, seeing if someone has opened your email yet) and they've trampled the privacy of every single person they send email to in order to achieve that.
In response the the criticisms placed on Superhuman the company now (as of July 2019) has location tracking, read recipients, and the loading of images turned off by default to protect the privacy of their users. The founder of Superhuman also made the following public statement regarding the controversial privacy violation allegations:
I have come to understand that there are indeed nightmare scenarios involving location tracking. I should note that we deliberately do not show cities — we only show states or countries — but a determined attacker could still misuse this information. When we built Superhuman, we focused on the needs of our customers. We did not consider potential bad actors. I wholeheartedly apologize for not thinking through this more fully.
On December 2, 2014 Superhuman completed their seed funding round with an undisclosed amount of funding from First Round Capital (lead investor), Fueled, Rubicon Venture Capital, and Bold Start Ventures.
On June 1, 2015 Superhuman completed a venture capital round with an undisclosed amount of funding from S2 Capital, Rubicon Ventures, Launch, Fueled, Bold Start Ventures, Wayne Chang, Samvit Ramadurgam, and Mike Ghaffary.
On June 1, 2018 Superhuman completed their series A funding round with an undisclosed amount of funding from Knollwood Investment Advisory (lead investor), Yes VC, and Ian Rountree.
On May 1, 2019 Superhuman completed their series B funding round with $33 million of funding from Andreessen Horowitz (lead investor), First Round Capital, and Boldstart Ventures. At the time of receiving their series B funding Superhuman was valued at $227 million with fewer than 15,000 customers. David Ulevitch, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, commented on why the company is valued at such a high price in relation to their number of customers by saying: "Superhuman is the future of work. Once I started using Superhuman, I couldn't conceive of relying on anything else."
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