Xobni, the Outlook email plugin that makes your inbox a more social experience, is finally leaving their beta phase after 10 months of testing. The company is also announcing they've taken in an additional investment of $3.2 million to bring their series B round to over $10 million.
The new, official version of the Xobni toolbar (previously covered here and here) is designed to uncover the "hidden" social network of the inbox. The software adds a sidebar to Outlook which adds profiles of the people you're corresponding with and keeps track of related messages, phone numbers, and files exchanged. This latest version adds even more features and has better performance, too. In fact, the company claims there's a 30-40% speed increase (on average) over their previous beta version.
In this release, Xobni has also included additional user controls which will allow users to better customize Xobni's behavior. This feature is designed to help people with "underpowered" computers to take advantage of the plugin. (Can we say netbooks?) The controls let you customize the indexing times and configure a delayed load when Outlook starts, among other things. Although we never did formal tests on the Xobni plugin ourselves besides just using it on our own machines (where it performed just fine), we heard of some anecdotal evidence where people had claimed it slowed Outlook down. For those who reported the slowness issues, these performance enhancements and configuration tools will likely be a great benefit.
As for the funding, the company says the money will be used for continuing development of the product and will help them proceed with work on a premium version of the software, slated for release this summer. The investment from BlackBerry Partners Fund brings the total raised in Xobni's Series B funding to over $10 million and adds BlackBerry Partners Fund Partner, Rick Segal, to Xobni's board of directors. Xobni closed the first part of the Series B in January 2009, led by Cisco Systems ($5 million).
You can download the new version of Xobni here.