Attachments.me announced today that they’ve raised $2 million in Series A funding from VC firm Foundry Group to help them expand their email attachments management tool. The San Francisco-based company, which raised $500,000 in seed funding from Foundry Group in March 2011 shortly after their beta launch, has expanded their email attachments management tool to include a Chrome extension, Google Apps edition, iPhone app and Dropbox and Box.net integration.
The goal of Attachments.me is to save users the headache of searching for an attachment in their inbox. After signing up, the tool crawls and indexes all of a user’s Gmail attachments. Using the web app or Chrome extension, users can search full text, or browse through all attached images, videos and documents (the tool displays attachments as thumbnail images). Users can filter by file type, bookmark searches, view the original email and save/share the attachment. The iPhone app lets users search attachments on their iPhone and save attachments directly to their Dropbox or Box accounts on the go, and Dropbox and Box integration means users can also set rules to automatically save all attachments to the cloud. It’s also offered for businesses in the Google Apps Marketplace – once integrated into a user’s Google Apps account (or with the Chrome extension), Attachments.me search results appear above regular Gmail search results.
Founder Jesse Miller said they decided to raise additional funding to branch out from just offering improved attachment search in Gmail. “We spent a lot of time in our seed round figuring out exactly what more we could offer people than just an improved attachment search in Gmail, since that is obviously not enough to build a company on,” he said in an interview. “When we started working with Dropbox and Box, and then with our newest automatic filing rules features, we started getting incredible feedback from users about how they were using it, and what more they wanted. This convinced me we had hit on something we needed to execute on faster.”
Currently Attachments.me only works with Gmail, though Miller says they’re talking to a few potential partners to integrate into their email clients. They are also working on apps for iPad and Android, and adding extensions for Safari and Firefox. Miller hinted at moving beyond just email attachment search to build additional productivity apps. “Attachments are so tied to email, and there is so much additional we can build on email,” he said. “For the next year though, we’ll be focused on getting individuals and businesses organized via email and attachments.”
The service is free, and the iPhone app is a free download. It’s available for businesses in the Google Apps Marketplace for free (previously it cost $7 per user per month). The team plans to implement a usage-based freemium model similar to Rdio – basic users will get a certain amount of free tokens per month, and pro users will get unlimited credits. The service has processed hundreds of millions of attachments, though Miller wouldn’t elaborate on how many users are currently using it. He also said that users are pushing almost 10,000 attachments per day using the automatic filing rules, and those attachments are pushed within two seconds of the person receiving the email.
Right now Attachments.me serves only Gmail users, so this funding should allow them to open that up to additional email clients, especially business-centric providers like Microsoft Outlook. There are also existing email clients like Postbox that offer similar email attachment filtering and indexing, but that requires users to stick with one software tool for accessing their email. While it’s addressing a very niche pain point, and one that can be solved (though not as efficiently) by filtering emails with attachments in Gmail, it’s one that seems to be resonating with users. With additional integrations, and potential additional productivity apps/services, they’re poised to cater to a large set of business users and individuals, and to avoid the “it’s a feature not a company” label.