INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Email inbox turned into a chat box

Here's the first Chinese startup who won the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield competition.

When Talkbox, the first voice messenger app, was copied by many big technology companies, Heatherm Huang, who was one of the foundering team members, left the company and started his own. Introducing MailTime, an Open Messenger built with email technology. It’s email as quick and easy as texting, and messaging without forcing your contacts to all download the same app. 

According to Heatherm, the way people interact with emails today has changed dramatically, but the email experience has not. Users scroll through pages of copies, signatures, and metadata to find what they need. It’s all more reminiscent of the desktop paradigm than the modern mobile world. The MailTime Team wanted to build something different and open, so MailTime is a messaging service built on top of the open technology of email, that connects people and services.

“MailTime disrupts the traditional email. We believe mobile email is about communication, not “organisation”. Therefore the best email app resembles a mobile messenger, not a tool for typing essays and moving emails around. We reformat your cluttered email threads into clean bubble chats, get rid of all those signatures, repeated data and formats,” he says.

Heatherm stresses that people want what they are making because many of them download it on the spot once they are presented with the product. Just last year, with MailTime, he and his team became the first Chinese startup ever to enter into the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield competition.

Currently, MailTime has USD 3M of Angel Investments behind them.

Planning the move for now and the future

The company plans to include a Referral mechanism by adding an additional account wherein users must invite one friend to Mailtime or pay 99 cents; a Viral loop whereby Mailtime signatures are set by default to advertise Mailtime, providing ads in every email sent. In addition, Network effects, @Mention feature and future ‘Seen’ features are available only between Mailtime users, so the more people who use us the better it gets.

Finally, Service platforms, wherein users can use integrated services with their email contacts such as payment via MailTime which is also a good channel to acquire new users.

For startups wanting to be featured, send your message to Lee Anne Babierra at research@charltonmediamail.com

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