Inbox 2.0 : Xobni “understands who you sent the most mails to, which group of peoples you communicate with. ”

May 18, 2008 By: Yann Espanet Category: Exchange 2007


Inbox 2.0 refers to a new generation of email clients that use data in email archives to infer social graph, and importance. (Source : Wikipedia )

The only thing that has changed with email in the last ten years is that everyone gets more of it. Email is overflowing with information. It’s hard to find what you need. It’s hard to know what you have.

Xobni creates an information profile for each person you interact with, and surfaces historical information that is relevant to what you are working on. Xobni displays contact information, threaded conversations, attachments, related people, email usage statistics, and information from the web. Xobni organizes your communication data and makes it available through intuitive navigation and super fast search.


Xobni currently integrates with the popular Microsoft Outlook email client and will extend to integrate with other email clients, instant messaging applications, and social networks.

Other programs, like Google Desktop, perform that same basic index-and-search function. But Xobni, which its creators call an “intelligent filter,” adds a few more features. When it scours the inbox, it extracts phone numbers it thinks are associated with the sender. So when a user searches for a person, Xobni presents the number in a side panel to Outlook.

The software also interprets the social relationships between people who are sending messages to each other. For example Xobni recognizes that if an executive sends a copy to someone else on each message he or she sends, it might be to an assistant or another colleague. When someone using Xobni searches for that executive in Outlook, the second person is listed as well.

The company raised $4 million from the investment funds of Vinod Khosla, a Sun Microsystems co-founder, and Niklas Zennstrom, one of the creators of Skype. In February, Bill Gates demonstrated the program at Microsoft’s San Jose developers’ conference and called it “the next generation in social networking.”

Microsoft has already made an offer to buy this company, but other players like Yahoo are interrested too.

Xobni now has ambitions that extend well beyond Microsoft Outlook. Jeff Bonforte, a 35-year-old former Yahoo vice president, joined Xobni as chief executive in February. He plans to expand Xobni’s reach to various e-mail programs, like the popular Web-based services Yahoo Mail, Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Hotmail as well as social networks like Facebook and Linkedin.

Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Founded: April 1, 2006
Funding: $4.35M

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