AwayFind closes seed funding and comes to Google Apps

AwayFind, the email productivity app that alerts users when they receive important messages while otherwise ignoring their inboxes, is getting serious about business — business customers, and its own status as a company. On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based startup announced a new version specifically for businesses as well as the closure of a round of seed funding.

First, the funding: AwayFind raised $800,000 in a seed round led by CAP Ventures and 500 Startups, with Baltimore Angels, Quest Software, and a variety of angel investors.

As for the app, the new version specifically targets paying business customers who use Google Apps. (s goog) AwayFind will be available as a download in the Google Apps marketplace as a 30-day free trial, after which it will cost around $10 per seat per month. (Pricing fluctuates depending on the size of the business.) Since Google Apps is currently the fastest growing business email platform, AwayFind could grow very quickly in the months ahead.

AwayFind's contextual gadget for Gmail (click to enlarge)

The Google Apps marketplace version of AwayFind has a few perks for paying customers: instant status reports so users are alerted in seconds instead of minutes when they receive an important email, and one-click setting up of alerts.

The announcements have been months in the making for AwayFind, which started as a side project for CEO Jared Goralnick but now has seven full-time employees. AwayFind for Google Apps has been in beta testing for several months with 2,000 companies, and Goralnick says he’s confident the professional world is the ideal customer base for the app.

“There is a huge disparity between signal and noise in most people’s work inboxes, and the problem is the greatest at large companies, where workers receive so much email every day from internal and external sources,” Goralnick told me in a recent interview. “The problem of interruptions in the workplace is very apparent.” And if businesses are willing to pay money to make their workers a bit less distracted by their inboxes, AwayFind could be at the start of something big.