Superhuman

Superhuman

A company offering an email client designed to be the fastest email experience. The company was founded by Conrad Irwin, Rahul Vohra, and Vivek Sodera in 2015 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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.

Email Client

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).

Features

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.

Controversy

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.

Funding

Seed

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.

Venture

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.

Series A

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.

Series B

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."

Timeline

February 5, 2020

Superhuman and Eventjoy founders announce $7 million angel fund

May 2019

Superhuman raises a $33,000,000 series B round from Andreessen Horowitz.

June 1, 2015

Superhuman raises a $13,000,000 venture round from LAUNCH, Wayne Chang, Fueled Collective, Lachy Groom, BoldStart Ventures, Mike Ghaffary, Rubicon Venture Capital and Samvit Ramadurgam.

2015

Superhuman was founded by Vivek Sodera, Rahul Vohra and Conrad Irwin.

Funding rounds

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People

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LinkedIn

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Fallout over Superhuman's email privacy scandal continues

Mikael Thalen

Web

July 9, 2019

Meet the Cult Email Client With a Waitlist of 180K People

Alex Lauer

Web

June 28, 2019

My six months with $30/month email service Superhuman

Lucas Matney

Web

June 27, 2019

Superhuman says it will disable email read receipts by default after privacy controversy

Sean Hollister

Web

July 3, 2019

Superhuman, Silicon Valley's Hottest Email App, Kills Location Tracking After Privacy Backlash

Tom McKay

Web

July 3, 2019

Superhuman: the startup offering a shortcut to empty inbox nirvana

Alex Hern

Web

July 12, 2019

The Superhuman Change To My Current Email Tools - Feld Thoughts

Web

October 23, 2018

Would You Pay $30 a Month to Check Your Email?

Kevin Roose

Web

June 27, 2019

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

E867: Rahul Vohra's Superhuman: fastest email ever, customers pay & evangelize, 70k waitlist

October 23, 2018

Rahul Vohra (Founder/CEO, Superhuman) - The Product-Market Fit Engine

January 9, 2019

Should You Get Superhuman? | Superhuman Email Review

September 17, 2018

Superhuman & Product Hunt - Product Interview

February 3, 2018

Companies

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News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Megan Rose Dickey
June 18, 2020
TechCrunch
Email is one of those things that no one likes but that we're all forced to use. Superhuman, founded by Rahul Vohra, aims to help everyone get to inbox zero. Superhuman, which got its start in 2017, charges $30 per month and is still in invite-only mode with more than 275,000 people on the waitlist. [...]
Lucas Matney
February 28, 2020
TechCrunch
"No matter what Gmail -- or any other company for that matter -- does, it doesn't really change our focus on our customers."
Lucas Matney
February 5, 2020
TechCrunch
Superhuman founder Rahul Vohra and Eventjoy founder Todd Goldberg confirmed Wednesday that they had closed their first fund, which they are very accurately titling, "The Todd & Rahul Angel Fund." TechCrunch reported back in October that Vohra and Goldberg were shopping a pitch deck around to potential LPs. The $7 million fund is the pair's [...]
Kate Clark
October 21, 2019
TechCrunch
The founder of one of 2019's most buzzworthy startups is putting on his VC hat.
Kate Clark
July 13, 2019
TechCrunch
In this week's newsletter: An inside look at TechCrunch's Mobility Conference, Credita's big fundraise and Bumble's bad week.
Darrell Etherington
July 3, 2019
TechCrunch
Superhuman, the buzzy and currently invite-only email startup that you might have come across even if you yourself don't have access if you've ever encountered a "Sent via Superhuman" email signature, is making some changes based on community feedback. These include removing location logging altogether, getting rid of all existing location data and turning off [...]
Matthew Panzarino
July 3, 2019
TechCrunch
Hot startup Superhuman has been getting some backlash, as often happens when someone notices the precise methodology that a startup is using to enable a core feature. We're well into stage 2 now when, inevitably, the backlash itself gets backlash. The nut of it is that people have been exposed to the idea that Superhuman [...]
Kevin Roose
June 27, 2019
www.nytimes.com
One of Silicon Valley's buzziest start-ups, Superhuman, is betting its app's shiny features are worth a premium price.

References

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