Many have attempted to get rid of it, but email is here to stay… even if it is (figuratively) killing some of us with the amount of labor it requires to triage and use it.
Sedna, a UK startup, has developed a solution to assist with this, especially for corporate and other business clients, by “reading” the content of emails and chats and automatically actioning items inside them so you don’t have to. It also announced today that it will get $34 million in financing to extend its operations.
Insight Partners is leading the Series B round, which also includes Stride.VC, Chalfen Ventures, and the SAP.iO fund (part of SAP). The funds will be utilized to continue developing additional data science around Sedna’s core functionality, with the goal of eventually expanding into a broader range of verticals.
Glencore, Norden, and Bunge are among its customers, and its main business is currently supply chain players. The neobank Starling is another client in the financial sector. Sedna, located in London, does not disclose its valuation.
Sedna’s CEO and creator, Bill Dobie, originally from Vancouver but now based in London, claimed the firm was born out of his own experiences.
“I spent years building software to help users be more productive, but no matter what we built we never really reduced people’s workload,” he said. The reason: the millstone that is called email, with its endless, unsolicited, inbound messages, some of which (just enough not to ignore) might be important. “What really struck me was how long it spent to move items out of and into email,” he said of the “to-do’s” that arose out of there.
Sedna was created as a result of this to “read” emails and provide additional context and direction. Its method eliminates duplicate action items and, as a result, improves the strike rate in people’s inboxes: what’s in there is more likely to be what they actually need to see. It also does it at a breakneck speed.
Our main value is the sheer scale at which we operate,” Dobie explained. “We read millions or even billions of messages in sub second response times.” While many of us do not receive “millions” of emails, there is a world of information out there that requires reading. Consider the amount of data that will be generated as a result of IoT-based diagnostics.
Consumers have taken to “smart” inboxes, yet few of them perform as effectively as you’d want. What’s remarkable about Sedna is how it’s tailored its algorithms to various sectors, allowing them to get wiser about the types of material and work processes in specific companies.
Currently, the development is guided by an API framework, which includes aspects of “low code” formatting to allow users to customize their Sedna experiences. Over time, the goal will be to make it even easier. Right now, we’re using an API-driven framework, with some low-code coming soon, but most of the time, SAP or a shipping or trade system recognizes the transaction in progress, and Sedna categorizes it using a decision tree.
Another area where Sedna might improve is how it manages the data it consumes. A client may currently link the company’s technology to pass over particular tasks to RPA systems as well as individual employees. There’s a clear path to creating some of the second stage software there, or it might be a hint of how something like Sedna could be bought up or replicated by one of the larger RPA providers.
“Bill started reimagining email where it was most broken and therefore hardest to fix—large teams managing huge volumes and complicated processes,” Rebecca Liu-Doyle, principal at Insight Partners, said in a statement. “Today, Sedna’s power is in its ability to introduce immense speed, simplicity, and delight to any inbox experience, regardless of scale or complexity. We are excited to partner with the Sedna team as they continue to make digital communication more intelligent for teams in global supply chain and beyond.” With this round, Liu-Doyle joins the board.
Sedna might help SAP clients be more productive while utilizing SAP technologies, therefore SAP is a strategic investor in this round.“SAP continues to partner with SEDNA to deliver value to SAP customers. The ability to turn complex information into simpler intelligent collaboration has been a growing priority for many SAP customers,” according to Stefan Sauer, SAP’s worldwide transport solutions lead.