Josh Rosenwald, “entrepreneur and email disruptor,” is one of the four co-founders of Unroll.me, a free tool that helps people organize their email subscriptions. He is very ambitious. Unroll.me launched in November, won Best Unfunded Startup at New York Tech Day, recently presented at NY Tech Meetup, and just launched a redesign today. “We’d like to scale it up to as many millions of users as possible,” he told Betabeat.
Unroll.me allows users to easily see what mailing lists they’re subscribed to and select an option that will bundle subscriptions into a “rollup” to be delivered in bulk once a day in the morning, afternoon or evening. Unroll.me has four unpaid cofounders, three developers, one designer and an intern.
“I actually got together with my cofounders and we wanted to just start a tech company,” Mr. Rosenwald recalled. “We weren’t even sure what we wanted to do. We were all bogged down in these newsletters and subscriptions, we couldn’t even email each other about when to meet up… so we said, ‘first we should get rid of this stuff.’”
Unroll.me will always be free for users, Mr. Rosenwald said, though he declined to elaborate on the company’s “really cool marketing platform” because “we have competitors in the space.” Although the app may seem more like something inspired by a hackathon than a self-contained company, he’d like to build out the company long term and continue developing productivity tools. Those tools will also remain free, he said, supported by ads. The ads will be “not necessarily in your inbox,” he said, but “more on our platform. We’re not going to add ads to your inbox. That would defeat the purpose of what we do.”
So far, Unroll.me has not raised any outside investment. The company is being supported by friends and family, and Mr. Rosenwald’s father has extra office space in Midtown he’s letting the team use. Mr. Rosenwald is a big fan of bootstrapping, although he expects Unroll.me will take funding in the next few months. “We’ve been talking to people and a lot of people have been approaching us, so we’ve been in discussions,” he said.
At first, the cofounders considered raising a $1 million seed round, but Mr. Rosenwald now thinks he might wait until they can raise $3 to $5 million, in order to avoid raising twice and getting further diluted. “If you can hold out, it’s better to just say we need x amount and only get diluted once,” he said. “People always see the money and they run for it.”