Japanese startup BHI announced today that it has launched a suite of mobile apps called Swingnow, which will prevent information overload in messaging. The company is based in Tokyo, but they have made these apps available on the iTunes app store in English-speaking and Nordic countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden.
The Swingnow suite is comprising of three mobile apps of Swingmail (e-mail), Swingbook (contact book), and Swingcal (calendar).
Swingmail is a minimalistic inbox and reply-only app that helps reduce information overload and clutter. The app aggregates messages from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and calls from phone and FaceTime, so that you have everything in one inbox. Swingmail will filter out junk, spam, and messages that don’t require your immediate attention, so that you can stay focused and only receive messages from people that are important.
Swingbook is a prioritizing contact list seamlessly integrated with the Swingmail app. Based on past messaging patterns, current time and location, Swingbook learns, predicts and suggests the most likely contacts who you would want to get in touch with at any given moment.
Swingcal is a minimalistic calendar app that thinks about your contacts. The app focuses on the agendas that you have with someone up to a week in the future.
BHI launched Swingmail out of these three apps late last year. In addition to developing two other apps in the suite, they abandoned the previous version of the Swingmail app and opted to develop it from scratch again for giving users a better experience.
Regarding the geographical limitation on the availability of these apps, I had assumed that it was because of a language-dependent algorithm in filtering messages. But BHI CMO Jun Inoue explained why this assumption was mistaken:
We are a startup, so our resources are limited. Filtering or analyzing algorithms used in our apps properly work in any language. But if we want to market to the global market, we need to optimize the user interface of the apps in every different language market to fit the preference of locals.
Compared to the Japanese market, we understand there’s obviously a larger potential in the entire English-speaking market. We know English is not a mother tongue for Nordic people, but they don’t feel uncomfortable using apps with an English-language interface. That’s why we started with these countries.
If the apps can receive good reaction in the countries where they have just launched, they will expand availability to other countries like Canada, South Africa, and Singapore. Based on feedback from users, they may also develop an Android version.
BHI fundraised an undisclosed amount of investment in a series A round from an undisclosed Japanese investor in April this year.