Whereby: How Hopin rival from Norway measures up to the video conferencing competition
The face of video communication has changed dramatically due to the global pandemic. In 2021, there’s a huge range of video communication platforms to choose from based on your needs, spurring the growth of the global video conferencing markets.
While home-grown video conferencing startup Hopin is giving a tough time to global giants like Zoom and Cisco, here’s another one all the way from Norway that wants to take a bite of the global shares.
Whereby, the Oslo-based company has raised $12 million (approx £8.6 million) from Point Nine, Jason M. Lemkin’s SaaStr fund, and a group of more than 20 angel investors. The group includes founders of companies like Miro, Typeform, and GoCardless, founding members of Spotify and several successful serial entrepreneurs and early-stage investors.
Whereby plans to use the new funding to fuel continued growth, expand its team and further develop products that make meetings easier and better for everyone.
“The past year has led many of us to question the future of work, with video meetings set to remain a big part of our lives,” said Øyvind Reed, CEO at Whereby. “Having attracted some of the world’s best investors, we’re excited to keep working on bringing better meetings to teams around the globe.”
Powering calls for NHS
The ban on travel has limited the reach of the enterprises in the foreign market, which in turn, has increased the adoption of video conferencing software during the ongoing pandemic. In 2020, the Oslo-based video conferencing platform saw a 450% increase in users across 150 countries as millions of people relied on its browser-based service.
Companies are also adopting an innovative recruitment process at such time by engaging video conferences. On the other hand, the government is using video conferencing software to connect with doctors and administrative people of their region and other countries. It’s worth mentioning that Whereby won a contract with the UK’s health department NHS for its remote video patient consultations during the pandemic.
“Last year we saw the mass adoption of video meetings,” said Christoph Janz, Partner at Point Nine. “Now it’s about taking the user experience to the next level and Whereby will be leading that charge. It’s amazing to see a Scandinavian startup playing in the same league as the tech giants – and we’re very excited to be a part of their journey.”
Different from Zoom, Hopin and others
Founded by Ingrid Ødegaard, and Svein Willassen in 2013, Whereby is a video conferencing tool that incorporates various features, including screen sharing, recording, chat, and live reactions. It also offers easy integrations with Google Drive, Trello, Miro, and YouTube in personalised meeting rooms for up to 50 people. In this platform, users can choose their own personalised URL and meet over their browser – on mobile or desktop – with only one click.
Harry Stebbings, the founder of Twenty Minute VC added: “Zoom fatigue is real and for those that appreciate beautiful design and advanced security, Whereby is the place to work and communicate. Øyvind and the team have realised that the future of meetings, be it over video or otherwise, is about putting the human connection first.”
On this Reed says: “We want to improve collaboration over video. The way we work and communicate has changed – yet how we connect over video hasn’t. That’s why, at Whereby, we’re re-thinking meetings. Our meeting rooms are completely customisable to create a more personal experience”
Further on the privacy factor, he adds, “We’re ethically ambitious, which means we take security seriously. We don’t sell or mine our customers’ data. All our data is stored securely in the EU, meaning Whereby is fully GDPR-compliant and all data is encrypted.”