With $10M Series A, Around Brings Video Collaboration To ‘Remote Stack’ Applications

As remote-first workplaces demand new tools, Around secures funding and launches in public beta to reimagine video collaboration

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Around, the next-generation video collaboration service, announced a $10M Series A funding round today led by Wing Venture Capital, with Forerunner Ventures and Slack Fund, as it launches into its public beta phase. Around’s video service is now available to everyone having been adopted by over 10,000 remote teams on an invite-only basis. Early backers Initialized Capital, Credo, Floodgate and angel investor Naval Ravikant also participated, bringing Around’s total investment to $15.2M as businesses look for ways to keep employees productive and creative in the new remote-hybrid workplace.

“Traditional video meetings re-create the boardroom in high fidelity and put the focus on the person speaking. But what if you want a creative session where the work is the focus?” said Dominik Zane, CEO and founder of Around. “Staring at one another while you work is distracting and exhausting. It kills your creativity. Ultimately, it hurts business results.”

Around’s ingenious design and patent-pending technology enable remote work in dramatic new ways, through lightweight, collaborative sessions perfect for tasks like design collaborations, copywriting work sessions or code reviews.

Key features include:

  • Hover: Around’s compact video interface sits on top of collaborative applications, allowing participants to work on documents together without losing visual contact
  • Anti-fatigue video modes: with automatic touch-up to minimize appearance-related distractions
  • Noise-cancellation: proprietary AI eliminates distracting noises like coughs, laptop fans, sirens and barking dogs
  • EchoTerminator: allowing hybrid-remote teams to collaborate with multiple laptops in one space without audio feedback
  • Slack integration: perfect for quick syncs and impromptu collaboration
  • One-click browser-based attendance: so anyone can join a call, even if they don’t have Around.

Around is fully at home in remote and hybrid workplaces where some staff are on site and others are on the road or working from home. Around’s AI-based autofocus zooms in on each participant’s face, putting everyone on an equal footing whether or not they’re in the office. Around’s EchoTerminator technology uses ultrasonic audio to detect nearby laptops, automatically squelching feedback from open mics so people can join a meeting while in the same room without huddling around a single laptop or TV.

“True creativity requires all our cognitive capacity and attention. That doesn’t happen if people are subconsciously tracking each other’s expressions, turning off the camera, feeling self-conscious, or distracted. You need to balance presence, focus and communication,” Zane said. “That’s what we’ve done with Around.”

“Over the past year we’ve spoken to hundreds of teams about the challenges they experience with video fatigue, creativity and collaboration. We added features and tuned the product, and now it’s time to open the gates to everyone,” Zane said.

“We’ve all experienced the creative exhaustion that comes from being on video calls all day,” said Zach DeWitt, Partner at Wing Venture Capital. “It’s a problem that needs a long-term solution. We’re not going back to the old way of working. Some people will work full-time from the office, others full-time from home. Most will alternate between the two. Around is in the forefront of an emerging ‘remote stack’ of tools designed for the new workplace — one that’s as virtual as it is physical.”

Around is now available in public beta for free. To request access, visit Around here.

Around is video collaboration reimagined for the new remote-first era, with lean, elegant design and proprietary technology perfect for 1:1s, team syncs and on-the-fly sessions. Around operates fully remotely with team members in the US, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. Around is backed by leading investors including Credo Ventures, Floodgate, Forerunner Ventures, Initialized Capital, Naval Ravikant, Slack Fund and Wing Venture Capital.

Media contact
Chris Ulbrich
Firebrand Communications
415 848 9175