U.K.-based startup SigmaOS Inc. announced Wednesday that it has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Localglobe to help people become more productive with a web browser designed specifically for focusing on work and productivity.
Investors from Y Combinator, 7percent Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, Shine VC, TrueSight Ventures, Pioneer Fund and Venture Together also participated in the round.
SigmaOS develops a browser for Mac users that escapes from the notion that browsers scatter everything into multiple tabs and force what is called “context switching,” where a user has a cluttered interface and must move everything back and forth in order to get work done.
“Context-switching is very mentally heavy, and having the segmentation that our browser provides, and being able to do everything from one place, really helps,” said Mahyad Ghassemibouyaghchi, SigmaOS’ founder and chief executive.
Ghassemibouyaghchi, who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder as an adult, explained that he found it exhausting to move constantly between windows in order to do research tasks on a new startup idea. The model of browsers had been formulated when the web was in its infancy, and browsers were based on the concept of displaying information from searches. Now, he reckoned, it was time to remodel them based on the basis of work.
“Our idea is that you focus on doing your best work, while we take care of organizing and making you focused,” he said.
In order to allow people to remain more focused, SigmaOS brings everything into one window and uses what it calls “workspaces,” which allow users to theme a single setting to a particular productivity template for what they intend to do, such as writing, dev tools or finance. Workspaces make up the basic function of SigmaOS.
Within a Workspace there are tabs that are themselves persistent and are displayed in a vertical to-do list that can be snoozed or marked done so that they can be shelved. They can also be searched so that they can be discovered. And for people who want to view what’s in a tab quickly without switching to it, it’s possible to split screen view information without swapping out.
All of these features can be easily accessed via hotkeys, which can be used to move around the browser’s workspaces, open search, split screen and more.
For more advanced users, the browser can also be extended with Chrome extensions because it uses the Safari engine. That means users can employ their favorite password managers, ad blockers, Grammarly, Notion, Calendly, Google Translate and other extensions that they might put in the browser.
The browser also has a newly released collaboration mode available with SigmaOS 1.0, which allows users to share a workspace with friends or co-workers where everyone can interact with shared tabs. That allows multiple users to work within the same browser space together and “co-browse” in order to get things done for work or play. There’s also a private tab for keeping things separate from the shared space.
Using this seed funding round, the company said it expanded its team from three software developers to five and intends to continue to build on its product.
SigmaOS works on a subscription basis. It ‘ free for personal use, providing three workspaces, a built-in ad-blocker and split-screen support. For $10 a month users receive unlimited workspaces, cross-device synchronization and one co-browsing workspace for collaboration. And for $15 a month, users can get unlimited co-browsing workspaces, sharing permissions and administration tools.