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- Zoom has been under scrutiny for its cybersecurity issues, and a roster of startups are capitalizing on the increased remote-workforce demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Virtual-collaboration startups specialize in making remote meetings, conference calls, and digital communication run smoothly.
- Business Insider compiled a list of startups that have experienced product booms since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and can help make your remote team more productive.
- Click here for more BI Prime stories.
As the videoconferencing platform Zoom is criticized over privacy and cybersecurity issues, a growing list of startups is capitalizing on the increased demand for platforms that support remote workforces.
In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, remote work has become the new normal. Wall Street analysts at Bernstein Research said there has been an increase in demand for virtual-conferencing companies. The cloud-based-conferencing market will likely exceed its market valuation of $3 billion, as online platforms reported rapid increases of usage in just a few weeks, according to data from the global research firm Gartner, CIO Dive reported.
In a blog post, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said the platform’s usage had increased by 1,900%, with 200 million daily free and paying users in March, up from 10 million at the end of December, Business Insider previously reported. In a matter of weeks, the $40 billion company reported record performance and skyrocketing traffic. Nonetheless, more usage also made Zoom a bigger target for hackers and trolls.
Cybersecurity concerns prompted the New York City Department of Education to ban its use for virtual teaching, and Yuan said the company “moved too fast” and made “missteps” while trying to keep up with the demand, Business Insider previously reported.
As Zoom works to restore its reputation, employers are more dependent on conferencing tech because it not only helps them communicate with coworkers but also allows them to interact face-to-face. Business Insider compiled a list of startups that have experienced product booms since the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are six companies that are the changing face of remote work.
Options trading The online-events platform Hopin came out of stealth mode in February and raised $6.5 million in funding.
Hopin, a London-based startup, is an online-events platform capable of hosting company gatherings and global conferences as big as the Mobile World Congress, the company previously told Business Insider.
The virtual venue, which was founded in 2019, came out of stealth mode in February after securing $6.5 million in funding from Accel, Northzone, Seedcamp, and a number of angel investors. Moreover, the startup reported a spike from 10,000 organizers on its waiting list to 18,000 in three weeks as more workers went remote.
“Hopin is the only platform that can truly replicate an offline event online, no matter the size,” Luciana Lixandru, a partner at the venture-capital firm Accel, previously told Business Insider.
Options trading Around raised $5.2 million in seed funding and came out of stealth mode on March 18.
In March, the videoconferencing platform Around came out of stealth mode after securing $5.2 million in seed funding. The company said it expected up to 10,000 sign-ups by March 20, three days after launch, because of the increased demand for conferencing tools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of taking over the screen like a traditional video call, Around’s floating video layer makes room for computer apps. Users appear in circular icons that crop out background clutter while Around’s video-processing artificial intelligence keeps the camera focused on the callers’ faces, even as they move around, the company said.
Options trading The online-events platform Run the World raised $4.3 million in seed funding in less than a year and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz.
Run the World, a startup founded by two former Facebook employees, allows users to run online lectures, conferences, and festivals. Though it’s only a couple months old, the company raised $4.3 million in seed funding in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz last year, Business Insider previously reported.
Moreover, Run the World came out of stealth mode recently and announced it would waive setup fees for companies affected by the spread of the coronavirus.
Options trading FreeConferenceCall saw a 3,442% increase in account creations in Italy.
FreeConferenceCall’s name speaks for itself. The company, which was founded in 2001, is one of the largest providers of online calls. As of March 12, the platform had seen a surge in global usage — account sign-ups increased 42% in the UK, 3,442% in Italy, 68% in France, 83% in South Korea, 121% in Spain, 94% in Germany, and 393% in Japan since January, according to Markets Insider.
In response to this, the company launched the “Stay Connected” campaign, which allows US users to access secure group chats with their phone numbers, Markets Insider reported. That way, an organization can have up to 1,000 people on the line.
Options trading The office-decorating startup GroWrk has seen a surge in customers.
GroWrk is a subscription service that customizes home workspaces. It offers “remote assessments” and sends remote-work essentials for your home office. You can either rent out a home desk or chair for a certain amount of time, or you can subscribe for supplies in bulk. A remote-office set is between $26 and $79.
Though it launched only six months ago, the startup saw a tenfold surge in customers as more employees were asked to work from home.
Options trading Orion Labs is catering to a frontline-worker demand and just raised $29 million in funding.
Orion Labs is one of the fast-growing voice automation platforms for mobile teams, particularly those who don’t sit behind desks. On March 31, the startup secured $29 million of Series B funding led by Dell Technologies Capital.
The company seeks to replace walkie-talkies and two-way radio transceivers with new technology, and its service caters to workers in the transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare industries, Crunchbase reported.
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