Home Killer App for Gmail Gets Backing from Calacanis and Others

Killer App for Gmail Gets Backing from Calacanis and Others

If you use Gmail for business and haven’t tried out browser plug-in Rapportive, your work life online is not yet complete. The small company behind the must-have software said this weekend that it has raised $1 million from a group of All Star, but unnamed, angel investors. This morning serial entrepreneur and email newsletter barron Jason Calacanis announced on Twitter that he was among that group.

Rapportive replaces the ads in your Gmail side bar with a picture of the person who sent you an email, their job title from LinkedIn, recent Twitter messages they’ve sent and more. Once you install it, you may have a hard time imagining life without it. I know I don’t want to think about this little company not being around anymore. So it’s good news that Rapportive just put some money in the bank.

We first wrote about Rapportive four months ago. How many browser plug-ins have you used for four months and still been thankful for every day? The context that Rapportive has provided to the emails in my inbox has proven invaluable. My communication has been substantially more informed by seeing the present and past job titles of people I’m emailing with next to their message.

The company has said that it intends to build additional functionality on top of email beyond what it currently offers, and it was a featured launch partner of the Google Apps email apps platform in May.

Competitor etacts offers a similar service, but is more complex and hasn’t caught my eye in the same way.

Social network user data is a rich resource just waiting to have software built on top of it. Rapportive is a great example of the kinds of things that become possible when such data is accessible to developers.

Update: Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch has published the full list of investors: “Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, Scott Banister, Jason Calacanis, Gary Vaynerchuk, David Cancel, Dharmesh Shah, Shervin Pishevar, and Roy Rodenstein. Also participating are Dave McClure’s new fund 500Startups, Nivi & Naval Ravikant’s VentureHacks, Charles River Ventures, Kima Ventures, Zelkova Ventures, and BOLDstart Ventures.”

That’s a very high profile group.

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