Watch Out, Zoom — Whereby Raises $12 Million for Video Conferencing

By Bruce Harpham Sunday, March 28, 2021

Growing Norwegian startup company, Whereby, is betting that demand for video conference software is here to stay. The business is competing with well-established video conference products from Zoom, Microsoft, and other companies. The video conferencing business has raised $12 million from investors to fuel expansion. According to the startup company’s LinkedIn page, the business has eighty-seven employees as of late March 2021.

A person video conferencing with a coworker.

Millions Adopt Video Conference Apps

The past year has seen significant growth for Whereby and other video conferencing apps on the market. In 2020, Whereby reported a 450% increase in users. Other video conferencing apps have also seen significant expansion thanks to the pandemic. In 2019, Zoom had $330 million in revenue but grew to $622 million in 2020 as more business users started using the app. Finally, Microsoft Teams grew from a user base of 20 million users in 2019 to more than one hundred million users by the end of 2020.

Who Is Funding Whereby?

The video conferencing app company has attracted support from multiple investors. The Series A funding found features several individuals well known in the technology industry. Hiten Shah (founder of KissMetrics, a web analytics business) and David Hauser (co-founder of Grasshopper, a communication business acquired by Citrix Systems) both invested in Whereby.

Beyond individual investors, Point Nine Capital is the main venture capital investor in the startup. Based in Berlin, the investor has invested in more than two startup companies. The investor's portfolio includes Delivery Hero (a food delivery app company) and PersistIQ (an email automation app company).

Free and Paid Video Conference Plans

Similar to Zoom, the video conferencing startup company offers a variety of plans, including one that is free. The free plan is limited to one user, one meeting room, and a maximum of four participants. Offering a free plan option to individuals appears that the business is focused on serving business customers as its primary market.

In contrast, the company offers a pro account for $9.99 per month per user, including recording and up to twelve participants. Finally, the business also offers a business account plan, which includes custom branding, unlimited business users, and unlimited recording. At this time, Whereby does not include video transcription, however.

Major Business Users on Whereby

The startup company has already signed up several major business customers. GE, Shopify (an ecommerce software business), Trello, and Techstars all use Whereby. The startup approach to business customers includes a focus on integrations. Specifically, the company offers a way to embed Google Docs and Tello boards. Trello is a collaboration app that uses Kanban-style lists to foster productivity. As of late 2019, Trello had 50 million users. That user base represents a business opportunity for Whereby because it can connect to its existing workflow.

To win business users, Whereby has invested in security features. For example, meeting attendees must be admitted manually, which makes so-called "Zoom bombing" (i.e., an uninvited person joins a Zoom meeting) less likely. In some cases, Zoom bombing has involved users disrupting meetings by posting graphic content. In addition, the video conferencing startup has built an integration with YouTube so that meeting attendees can watch a video together without technical problems.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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