Cape Town based VC, HAVAÍC through its offshore structures, has invested the first round of early stage funding into Delaware, USA registered email productivity software business Sortd Inc. (Sortd) for an undisclosed amount.
Developed by experienced South African founders Rodney Kuhn, Wayne Silbermann and Bradley Greathead, in spite of a limited focus on expansion to date, Sortd has been downloaded a quarter of a million times across every country in the world. It has also been featured in prominent online publications, including Silicon Valley’s most popular startup and VC community site Product Hunt, and consistently ranks among the top 3 global productivity apps for Gmail.
Sortd is a subscription-based productivity suite for users of Gmail and GSuite (Google’s business offering) that provides small and medium-sized enterprises with a simple way to manage sales and customer projects right inside email with no need for multiple third party applications. In doing so it doubles up as a way for heavy emailers to get on top of their unwieldy inboxes – making it particularly appealing to businesses who have had challenges getting their people to adopt new systems in the past.
With the ongoing development of the newly released Gmail App Store, and Gmail being responsible for more than a quarter of all mails opened worldwide, Sortd’s full suite of products is well positioned to win over some of the existing few billion Gmail users and capture new ones as Gmail grows its business market share.
The founders will be supported by Jonathan Smith, another successful South African tech entrepreneur now based in Silicon Valley, as a non-executive director. Rodney Kuhn, Sortd’s Chief of Product says: “It’s wonderful to have someone of Jonathan’s calibre and experience in our team. It’s a great validation for where we believe we can take the business.”
Whilst the business will continue to be fully global, Sortd will continue to have most of the development work undertaken in South Africa and receive local operational support from HAVAÍC. This will give opportunities to local developers to be a part of a truly international Venture Capital backed business.
Speaking from Mountain View, California, Amir Padovitz, a HAVAÍC advisor, Sortd board member, a successful tech entrepreneur and senior manager with Google said: “Sortd provides a unique tool for businesses and professionals to accomplish involved tasks without context-switching across applications, increasing productivity and simplifying task management. This is the direction that enterprise productivity as a whole is gradually moving to and where Sortd is well positioned to succeed.”
Sortd co-founder Wayne Silbermann says, “The journey with HAVAIC has been both challenging and very rewarding - they have added some really important perspectives to our thinking from an investment standpoint, and we are very happy with where we’ve gotten to date.”
HAVAÍC’s partner Rob Heath and Sortd board member comments, “We’ve been watching and working with the Sortd team for quite a while now to get them in the best position for their international success. Like many successful entrepreneurs that have gone before them, we believe the Sortd team will once again show that South Africans can succeed in the global technology market place.”