Essential took it over at first, but then Essential went down, leaving the future of Newton up in the air. That’s where two guys stepped in to scoop it up and hopefully find it a forever home.
We had a chance to talk with Maitrik Kataria and Justin Mitchell, the two new owners of Newton Mail and most likely the app’s biggest fans. Read on to see what they’re thinking about the future of email with their latest investment.
What made you two want to pick up Newton Mail? Has this been something in the works for a while, or did you jump on it after Essential announced they were dissolving? Why bother with the history and baggage that Newton brings instead of starting from scratch?
Honestly, we are not the type to acquire things. We both run other businesses full time and were pretty busy with that. So, yes this was not planned at all. We were interested in buying Newton two years ago when it was shutting down the first time, but it wasn’t a serious interest as the asking price was too high.
Justin and his wife were visiting us in February and he mentioned that Newton was shutting down again. I floated the idea that maybe we could try buying it again. It was done in humor to see what it could’ve lead to, and here we are.
The reason why we wanted to acquire [Newton] was a bit sentimental [since] we both love the Newton apps. Our goal with Newton isn’t to create this uber amazing startup success story. It’s an asset purchase which we will make profitable and continually improve.
What’s the long term vision for Newton? I know you’ve mentioned open sourcing it and supporting it long term, but what major features or implementations do you see being made in the next 5 years? Will you continue supporting desktop apps like this in addition to mobile apps?
In the tech world, it’s hard to see past one year, let alone five, so it would be hard for us to comment on the roadmap [that far out] but the overall goal is to make Newton one of the best emailing services for professionals. We will want to focus on features that make professionals and businesses more productive via email.
We have some catching up to do in terms of features like email templates, collaboration, better search, etc and we will implement all those features but in Newton’s own way this year.
We will be supporting and improving all of the apps as that is one of the better things about Newton. No email app supports all the platforms we do right now and we plan to extend that.
What email app were you guys personally using before this? I’m assuming you’re both on board the Newton train now.
We both were Newton users. After the shut down, Justin was using Missive and I had been a paid user of Mailspring.
Why do you think Newton will be successful after it’s rocky history and an increasing consolidation of mainstay email apps, like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Outlook? Is the plan to take Gmail and Apple Mail’s users, a slim market of power users, or Outlook-loving business customers?
Yes, the plan is definitely not to focus on billions of email users but only focus on thousands of users who see the value in a better email app. We don’t plan to become superhuman and raise VC money, nor do we plan to make this an enterprise solution. We will keep it bootstrapped and grow organically while maintaining a profitable business. Our goal right now is to go back to the same number of paid subs that Newton used to have before it was shut down the first time.
Are there any plans to change the pricing model in the future depending on how things play out?
Definitely no plans to change pricing whatsoever. Our goal is to make business profitable within it’s current pricing.
Responses slightly edited for clarity and readability.