Ambitious US startup is quietly building a competitor to rival Microsoft 365, Google apps — Notion now offers secure office products, calendar, email and more

Man using laptop with a cup of coffee
Ecco i migliori notebook aziendali del 2022 (Image credit: Shutterstock / SFIO CRACHO)

In a bid to build a suite of secure office products, US startup Notion recently acquired Skiff, a privacy-focused productivity tool platform that offers end-to-end encrypted file storage, docs, calendar events, and email.

Founded in 2020 by Andrew Milich and Jason Ginsberg, Skiff raised $14.2 million in funding over two rounds from notable investors, including Sequoia Capital, Alphabet chairman John Hennessy, and former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang. 

Initially, Skiff offered a secure alternative to Google Docs but quickly expanded to create other productivity tools such as calendar and email.

Skiff to shut down

After acquiring the company, Notion's COO Akshay Kothari revealed that his firm had been tracking Skiff's progress since its inception. Impressed by the attention to detail in Skiff's products, Notion decided to bring the platform under its wing to enhance its own productivity suite.

In an announcement, Skiff's team expressed excitement about joining forces with Notion, seeing a deep alignment with Notion's vision to build a connected workspace.

Although Skiff customers will be able to continue to use the product suite for now, it will not continue indefinitely. The company announced that its products would be shut down after a six-month sunset period, and user accounts would not be converted to Notion accounts. Users have been assured they can easily export or migrate their data to other services, and Skiff has created a guild explaining how to do this.

Skiff users can claim a refund by opening Skiff Mail, Calendar, Pages, or Drive and clicking “send feedback” in the left sidebar. They just need to choose “Billing” as the category and input the refund request there. Upon clicking Send they will receive a ticket number.

TechCrunch points out that this acquisition is not the first for Notion, which previously acquired workflow management tool Flowdash in 2022. Before that it took on Cron, and India-based, which boasted integrations with over 200 services. 

As Notion continues to expand its offerings, it's clear that the startup is looking to carve out a space for itself in the competitive secure office market. With its focus on privacy and security, Notion could potentially appeal to those users looking for an alternative to big tech solutions like Microsoft 365 and Google Apps.

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.