Ex-Googlers’ email start-up Fluent closes after six months

A Sydney-based start-up launched by three former Google employees that promised to change the way people use email has been dismantled just six months after launch.


Fluent was founded by Cameron Adams, Dhanji Prasanna and Jochen Bekmann, all of whom used to work for Google in Sydney but quit last year after claiming that their ideas weren’t fully appreciated by the search giant’s hierarchy in the US.


At the business’ launch in February, the trio explained how their system would transform email into a Facebook-style stream of conversation threads from multiple accounts, allowing users to sort through mail 20% quicker than they do currently


“We think that email has sort of stagnated and got into these set patterns of people using it,” Adams said at the time.


“Rather than having to receive a message, look at the subject, click on it, read the conversation, and then decide what to do, we present you with the information you need.”


However, the business has shut up shop after just six months, despite attracting 70,000 users to the system.


A blog post on Fluent’s website reads: “Email is quite clearly a thing that needs fixing and we still feel quite passionate about that. It’s an ambitious undertaking, but well worth trying.”


“At this point, however, we’ve decided to call an end to Fluent. There are many things that cause start-ups to rise and fall: fund raising, runways, scaling and other promising opportunities; they all played their part. We feel that we couldn’t keep running the service as it is, and now’s the time to move on.”


According to the blog post, Fluent’s servers will be turned off tomorrow and all user data will be deleted.


“The people who are going to miss Fluent the most are us,” the post says. “We’ll miss how effortless it is to stay in the flow of discussions. We’ll miss our instant search.”


“We’ll miss how fast it is to respond to queries and how easy it is to check multiple accounts. But to run a service like this requires full-time attention. Attention that we can’t give it anymore.”


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