5 European video conference startups on a mission to beat Zoom

It’s no surprise that we’re all on the lookout for video conferencing and meeting platforms that can allow us to connect better. Screen fatigue is setting in, and virtual connections are becoming tiring in both professional and personal environments.

Throughout the hard lockdown in spring, the word ‘Zoom’ became synonymous with ‘meeting online’, but that’s starting to change. As companies adapt to a digital perspective, employees and entrepreneurs alike are searching for alternatives that offer other functionalities, like longer call limits, visual interactions between attendees, more ‘human’ ways to connect, and seamless organization for larger events.

With this in mind, we’ve scouted the startup scene in Europe for some of the most promising startups and scaleups that were founded in the last few years, who show potential to be the next ‘Zooms’ of the era. These companies have fast-growing teams, are landing funding here, there and everywhere, and offer unique video conferencing technologies. Of course, there are many other video conferencing options out there that deserve a mention, but here are 5 we’ll be keeping an eye on.

Livestorm – Founded in Paris in 2016, Livestorm is certainly living up to its electric name. The team is currently at around 60, and thanks to their new €25.4 million funding round, they’ll be expanding by another 100 employees soon. Livestorm’s all-in-one browser-based platform adapts to all online event formats and allows teams to organize each stage of the event, from email promotion to analytics. Right now, more than 3,000 companies worldwide use Livestorm, taking advantage of cool interactive features like polls, questions, and conversations.

Hopin – If you’ve attended an online conference, summit or event this year, you might have come across Hopin. This London-based team has hit the news as well in recent months, having raised €35.6 million to accelerate their growth to meet demand, stating in June that they had more than 50,000 customers on their waiting list, growing daily. Hopin, founded in 2019, has already built a team of over 200, and offers full conference capabilities: stages, networking, breakout sessions (roundtables), sponsors, tickets, analytics, and sponsors.

Wonder – Berlin-based Wonder hit the news this week having raised around €9 million to expand its team, grow its customer base and refine product development. Launched this year, Wonder is specifically aiming to make larger online meetings more like real life. How does it work? Users navigate a 2D space with a bubble that shows their photo, where they can join group conversations and broadcasts; in this virtual world, guests can see who is speaking to whom, and move their avatars around with their mouse to join or leave a conversation.

Teooh – Founded in London in 2018, Teooh landed over €4 million this summer to expand its avatar-based virtual gathering platform. Teooh’s avatar designs are reminiscent of the popular ‘Sims’ game, if it had jumped into a rainbow colour palette, allowing cool purple, blue and green skin tones. So far, Teooh’s custom-built virtual venues have facilitated more than 4,000 virtual events, remote team meetings, personal gatherings, and more, for attendees ranging from major international businesses to intimate groups of family and friends.

Whereby – This Oslo-based video conference platform is one of the simplest tools out there for virtual meetings, for up to 50 people. With no time limits, users can record the call, interact with emojis and send written comments, collaborate on documents and whiteboards, and add custom branded backgrounds and logos. The browser-based platform has already grown the team to around 60 people while bootstrapping, and is used by companies like Trello, Shopify, and Techstars.

Looking for some cool tools to make your remote work experience more productive? Check out 10 cool productivity tools for startups to explore during quarantine.