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Google Plus, eat your heart out. Group video conferencing service Meetings.io has grown to 100,000 users since launching in April. The startup’s three founders have been heads down developing screen-sharing and file transfer features, released today, with lofty plans of taking on Webex and other clunky video conference services for the enterprise.
The promise of this Y Combinator company is a free tool to start conversations with anyone in the world in seconds, no registration required. If you choose to sign up, you’ll be given a permanent meeting room. Invite up to 5 friends into your room with a link (for example, Meetings.io/John), and share a side-by-side screen.
Since launching, the company has found a niche in supporting short-term contracts and one-off meetings. For this reason, Y Combinator became one of the first customers. The seed accelerator now uses Meetings.io to screen potential candidates and prepare successful teams before their arrival to the Mountain View headquarters. Once the meeting is over, contact information is not saved.
The lack of sign-in or registration is the major value proposition for the company. The reason I’ll switch over from Skype is that my contact list is bloated with former colleagues and one-time interviewers.
Video conferencing tools are proving to be a hot space for startups, but few — including Google — have succeeded in toppling the status quo. By targeting consumers first but avoiding gimmicky features like chat roulette, Meetings.io is slowly trickling into the enterprise in a manner akin to Dropbox or Yammer.
The company can continue to operate a free service and incorporate the standard features of a professional tool: high-quality video, a chat box, file transfer, and screen sharing. Anticipating early adoption from companies, the team has developed underlying technology to crack tough corporate firewalls.
At this point, the founders say they remain focused on designing a slick visual interface. One added perk you may soon see is the ability to accessorize your permanent meeting room in line with your decor. Mine may take on a swanky hot pink veneer.
“We’ve spent a lot of time on the design and asked ourselves, ‘what would WebEx or GoToMeetings be like if Apple designed it?’ We want the product to be intuitive for first time users and enable them to focus on the conversation, not the tools,” chief operations officer, Randy Lubin (pictured top left), told VentureBeat (in a Meeting.io video conference). Lubin, a Stanford MBA alumni, is the company’s first hire.
In April, the company hit the market with $1 million in seed funding from investors including Yuri Milner and SV Angel.