As the world accelerated to virtual gatherings in the early weeks of March’s COVID downfall, companies and school systems alike bombarded video conferencing software tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft meetings, and others hoping to keep connected and business running amid an abnormal environment.
Zoom stock surged, as did its challenges around privacy. Another user experience challenge? The interoperability of devices has been largely nonexistent, making scheduling a challenge and seamlessness from end to end a cumbersome experience.
With tech companies extending work from home polices through summer of 2021, and schools across all levels turning to online learning to keep faculty and students safe, the virtual office (and learning) environment will continue to create critical demands on software companies that will have to consistently have to improve interfaces and interoperability as the technology advances.
- Undock’s Nigerian-American founder, Nash, recently raised $1.6 million in a funding round led by Lightship Capital
- The platform lets people instantly schedule, host, and document meetings
Enter Undock. The two-year-old startup has slowly been gaining traction within the tech crowd, and quietly building an all-in-one interface that connects scheduling, meetings, and video conferencing under one umbrella platform.
People are patching. Nothing feels smooth right now, explained Nash Ahmed, founder, and CEO of Undock who, prior to the pandemic, was running the company out of an office in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
The company has raised $1.6 million in funding. Cincinnati, Ohio-based Lightship Capital led the round which includes money committed from Alumni Venture Group, Active Capital, Lerer Hippeau, and several independent angel investors.
Undock uses AI to automatically discover the ideal meeting time for participants by comparing availability, preferences, and behavior. It also makes meetings sharable and searchable, giving teams a single place for collaborative agendas, notes, and built-in conferencing.
Prior to raising money, Ahmed bootstrapped the company and used client revenue to get to an MVP. They landed a spot in the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator winter cohort, picking up $100,000 in investment.
Video conference competition is fierce as several new players enter the field to siphon off business customers. While users have a plethora of options, in June, Wirecutter named Cisco’s Webex Meetings for its free service that comes with robust privacy and security policies, something publicly-traded company Zoom, who saw exponential growth on its platform following the beginning of the pandemic, has struggled with as thousands of users have reported hacking and Zoom bombing.
The real winners of the video conferencing race will provide long-term solutions for a future of work that is certain to be more remote than in-office.
Undock currently has 10 full-time staff members and plans to add 4 additional team members within the next 8 weeks. The company will soon announce the hiring of its first chief marketing officer. Undock says it has plans to relocate its offices to the midwest in 2021.