British video conferencing companies transforming how we live during Covid-19
Video conferencing software has been the standout tech over the past couple of weeks. Many of us are now reliant on video calls for a productive day of remote working and are even using conference software intended for businesses for extended virtual gatherings with groups of family and friends.
Independent research firm Beauhurst highlights two standout British firms making waves during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Funds raised: £58.6m
Founded: July 2008
Hertfordshire-based StarLeaf provides online video meeting and messaging solutions, running on all major systems and devices. The software has an extensive range of upgrades and integrations including Microsoft Outlook, Teams, Slack and Google Calendar, with the aim of making remote work as seamless as possible. Solving a problem that has plagued Zoom for the past few weeks, StarLeaf protects against spam callers and offers full call security and privacy. To help businesses continue as normal through the coronavirus crisis, StarLeaf has made all online video meeting and messaging solutions free for everyone. They also plan to provide customers with additional licensing flexibility, resources, and an option for increased service capacity to meet higher demand.
The company was founded in 2008 by Mark Richer (CEO), Mark Loney (CTO) and William MacDonald (CTO). Richer and MacDonald had previously founded Codian, a manufacturer of video conferencing infrastructure that was acquired by Tandberg for $270m in 2007. StarLeaf has grown steadily over the last decade, with a rapidly growing international client base across Europe, New Zealand, America and Australia, with plans to expand worldwide.
In 2018 StarLeaf reported a turnover of £18.4m and is VC backed, having secured eight equity funding rounds. Their latest round of £12m was raised in 2019, and to date, their total funding secured totals £58.6m with investment from Grafton Capital and Highland Capital Partners.
Funds raised: £11.4m
Founded: September 2015
A more recent entrant to the scene, Visionable has developed conferencing and streaming software designed specifically for the healthcare industry, combining video calls with specialist clinical imaging capabilities. Visionable saves healthcare professionals valuable time travelling to and from meetings, allowing them to join team discussions from anywhere, enriched with large amounts of clinical information. Clinicians can also interact with and diagnose patients remotely – an incredibly useful function in the midst of a highly contagious pandemic.
Visionable was founded by Alan Lowe (CEO), who previously led the Service Improvement Program for NHS Westminster and Lord Victor Adebowale CBE. The company was first registered in 2015 and has since received grant funding, secured equity finance and attended an accelerator programme in order to scale operations. To date, a total of £11.4m has been injected into the company over four funding rounds.
Visionable is already making a big impact on the NHS. The technology is being used by around 100 NHS clinics in the UK and the company has collaborated with NHS East of England to improve stroke treatment, as well as with North West London Cancer Network to reduce patient waiting times.
In the past few years, Visionable has paved the way forward with many exciting initiatives. In 2019, they kitted out the UK’s first smart ambulances, partnering with O2 and Samsung to use 5G and offer unlimited forms of data sharing by streaming in a feed from anywhere. The idea is that you can simultaneously bring in multiple doctors on webcams, have multiple cameras on the patients and enable a hospital to see the CT scans of that patient, all in perfect resolution. The company has also partnered with Amazon to develop Alexa-style voice commands so doctors can work ‘hands-free’. The startup is now planning to expand its presence in healthcare systems across the world, with particular plans to target India and the US in 2020.