London-based SigmaOS is launching as a startup building a Mac browser for productivity enthusiasts. The company has raised $4 million in seed funding led by LocalGlobe with participation from Y Combinator, 7percent Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, Shine VC, TrueSight Ventures, Pioneer Fund and Venture Together. Angel investors such as Carmen Alfonso Rico, partner at Cocoa Ventures, and Matteo Franceschetti, founder of EightSleep, also participated in the round. However, SigmaOS is also launching SigmaOS 1.0 after being in beta for more than a year with features such as collaboration and focus mode.
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History of SigmaOS
The company was founded in 2021 by Mahyad Ghassemibouyaghchi, Ali Attar and Saurav Mitra. Diagnosed with ADHD, Mahyad said switching between different tabs and windows in old browsers was mentally taxing. So he wanted to create a browser that allowed you to do things in one place.
“Context switching is very mentally heavy and having the segmentation that our browser provides and being able to do everything in one place really helps. Our idea is that you focus on doing your job in the best way possible and we are interested in organizing you and keeping you focused.”
Startup and Functionality
At first glance, the browser looks different from Chrome and Safari because it stores tabs vertically. When setting up SigmaOS, it asks you to create a new workspace or choose a template workspace, such as writing, analytics, work chat, dev tools and reading. Workspaces, like tab groups or tab folders, are central to the SigmaOS experience.
The app thinks of these workspaces as toolboxes where some theme-related tabs will always be open. And you can open some of them on the fly. The browser treats tabs like an email: most of the tabs are persistent, you can switch between them without closing any of them, and you can snooze them and mark them as done to close them. To navigate this interface, you can always press the lazy search bar, which allows you to search for the tabs currently open in the browser or perform a search. You can also quickly slide a tab into split-screen view if you want to look at some information while doing another task, such as typing. With the new version, the company also introduces a focus mode that removes all toolbars and expands the view of the current tab to full-screen mode.
SigmaOS Continues to Grow
A new collaboration mode is also available with SigmaOS 1.0, allowing you to share a workspace with friends or colleagues, where you can all see shared tabs. This is useful when working on new ideas with your team or planning a trip with friends. The workspace also has a dedicated tab area for you. Notably, Apple is introducing the shared tabs feature for Safari this year. All these features and more are easily accessible via a large number of shortcuts. However, if your workflow has only a few tabs, or you’re not an intense productivity enthusiast, the number of features and interface navigation can be overwhelming. Even for experienced macOS users, SigmaOS’s quirks and flows take some getting used to. In certain ways, you may need to change the way you work in a browser to access information quickly.
To make the transition from Safari and Chrome smoother, the browser allows you to easily import all data, including passwords. The company is also testing support for Chrome extensions as a beta feature. It currently has a built-in extension repository with limited apps and allows you to import extensions from Chrome. If they don’t work with SigmaOS, you can also quickly flag the team to provide support for it. SigmaOS is built on WebKit and uses SwiftUI for its interface. This allows the browser to keep multiple tabs “open” without overloading people’s system resources. Mahyad told TechCrunch that many of his users keep hundreds of tabs open in the background.
The Road to Startup
The free version of the browser gives you three workspaces, split-screen functionality and a built-in ad blocker. Users can pay $10 per month (or $96 per year) to get unlimited workspaces and cross-device synchronization. Teams can pay US$15 per month (or US$144 per year) for unlimited shared workspaces. Mahyad says the company is focused on bringing more features to the browser and growing its numbers. He didn’t specify the number of users, but says the app has thousands of users, of which more than 30% are paying customers.