Superhuman: the startup offering a shortcut to empty inbox nirvana

Superhuman: the startup offering a shortcut to empty inbox nirvana

Alex Hern Technology editor 12/07/2019

The Silicon Valley firm makes bold claims for its slick technology that aims to rid people of torrents of unread emails

In many ways, Superhuman is your archetypal Silicon Valley darling. It was founded by a brilliant Cambridge graduate who sold his first company to LinkedIn in 2012 then quit to start another one. It has attracted a cult following among early users, whose lives it promises to revolutionise (and who often insist it really has done so). And now it has scored a $33m investment from Andreessen Horowitz, the influential venture capital outfit that was an early backer of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and almost every other major startup going since it was formed in 2009.

But, in other ways, Superhuman is nothing like its peers. For one thing, it charges for what it makes: an eye-watering $30 a month. For another, it’s taking the opposite route to the growth-at-all-costs mindset of so many startups: the Guardian first tried to sign up in 2016, and sat on the waiting list for almost three years before giving up and pulling strings to get VIP access. Oh, and it isn’t building an AI blockchain for using augmented reality to run your biotech, or anything trendy like that. No, it makes an email client.

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