Mailbox failure


Inbox that made email light, fast, and mobile-friendly.


Mailbox launched in early 2013 and was able to gather over 1 million registrations for its trial plan. The app promised to make your inbox more manageable, fast and efficient. It introduced the swipe option to archive emails, snooze feature to read mail later and mute unimportant conversations. Mailbox used machine learning to anticipate and sort mails for the user to always show them the most relevant messages. Many of today's email services providers have incorporated Mailbox’s innovations into their product.


United States
In 2011
By 2015
Number of Founders
Name of Founders
Gentry Underwood, Scott Cannon
Number of Employees
Between 501 And 1000
Number of Funding Rounds
Total Funding Amount
Number of Investors
Precise Cause of Failure
Bad Business Model
Business Outcome
Shut Down

Cause of Failure

One month after the official launch, Dropbox bought Mailbox stating that this sleek app would be a great addition to their collaborative products.

Already as a standalone product, the Mailbox team showed creativity and technical skills in their product design, but being able to monetize the app was another matter. Just as with calendars app, mailboxes might be useful for people, but only to a certain point. People are not willing to pay for such products, nor expect to. The only way similar products could make money or return the invested money is by being acquired. However, even this did not work out too well for Mailbox. A couple of years after the acquisition, Mailbox shutdown as Dropbox could not find a way to integrate it into their main product and concept.

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