Meet Hiver, a service that lets you collaborate on generic email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, support@, sales@, etc. Hiver isn’t the only company working on shared inboxes. But compared to Front, everything happens in Gmail directly.
To be fair, Front has been doing a fantastic job when it comes to multiplayer email — and the company has been doing great. Front is a new email client that lets you work together on your inbound emails.
But many teams don’t necessarily want to use a brand new email client. Some people love the Gmail interface so much that they don’t even think about switching to something else.
Hiver is a Google Chrome extension that adds a bunch of feature to your Gmail inbox. In addition to your personal inbox, you can now access shared inboxes with other people in your team. You can then assign an email to one of your coworkers and see what everybody is working on.
If you need help in order to reply to a tedious email, you can write a note in the right column and notify your teammates using @-mentions. All your comments live in this separate column so that you don’t clutter your email thread with forwards and CCs.
Whenever someone starts replying, Hiver shows a collision alert so that customers don’t get two replies. You can also use templates for faster replies, send emails later and share drafts to get another pair of eyes.
More recently, Hiver added automation with simple if/then rules to assign conversations to the right person and categorize your emails automatically.
If you’ve used Front in the past, those features will sound familiar as you can do all of this in Front, and much more. But it turns out that some companies really wanted a “Front for Gmail”.
Hiver just raised a $4 million funding round from Kalaari Capital and Kae Capital. The company is based in India and has 50 employees already. A thousand companies are currently using Hiver, such as Hubspot, Vacasa, Pinterest and Lyft. Most of Hiver’s clients are based in the U.S.
Building a product on top of Gmail creates some limitations. For instance, you’ll have to remain a G Suite customer in order to keep using Hiver. Hiver also works better on desktop. The company has mobile apps, but they are still a bit basic so far.
Hiver uses a software-as-a-service approach. Plans start at $14 per user per month, and you need to pay more for automations, Salesforce integration and more.