The data inside of mailboxes, calendars, and contacts is incredibly rich. Many people treat their inboxes as mostly unstructured operating systems for their day to day lives. I’ll speak for myself (and I am not unique) in saying my inbox is my todo list, ad hoc file repository, and gateway to most social interactions. My inbox is also an excellent proxy for all major transactions in my life in line with the rise of transactional email receipts over the last decade. I would be miserably undependable (and quickly out of a job) if I didn’t slavishly follow what my calendar notifications tell me to do next; it’s my system of record for where and when I need to be.
Despite the richness of these communication-related data sources, the ability to access this data programmatically is a mess. A software application that cares about integration into mail, calendars, and contacts data needs to support multiple vendors’ APIs and multiple competing legacy standards, many of which are long in the tooth and don’t have the nice polish of modern, RESTful APIs, such as webhooks.
In this context of this problem, I’m excited to announce that Spark Capital is partnering with the team at Nylas as we lead their $16MM Series B financing. Nylas provides one, simple, RESTful API to abstract away the tangled messiness of integrating into software companies’ users’ email, calendar and contacts data sets. Like Plaid abstracting away the complication of integrating with financial institutions’ customers’ data, Nylas handles all the difficulties of access, compliance, security, and API-maintenance with a single layer of abstraction that unlocks access to 100% coverage of inboxes and calendars from all providers.
I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to partner with Gleb Polyakov, Christine Spang, and the rest of the stellar Nylas team as they build to their ambitious mission. I will be joining the board along side Alex Moore at 8VC and look forward to doing what I can to be helpful to their future growth. If you’re a member of a development team that is tearing their hair out over implementing or maintaining communications data sets, give Nylas a look. Or come build our elegant developer services with us: we’re hiring.