When I called into the conference call to talk to the executives from Speakeasy, I noticed that something was missing. I just dialed a regular phone number; there was no annoying PIN or code.
San Francisco-based Speakeasy makes a teleconferencing app of the same name, launching today. It also revealed that it’s taken a $4.75 million venture capital investment from Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures.
Speakeasy founder and CEO Reza Mohsin says that as workers have come to use mobile devices more, and as companies have become more distributed and international, there are more conference calls than ever, and yet teleconferences remain as clunky as they’ve been for years.
So his company has looked at the conference call from a lot of different angles, and has figured out a number of ways to take the suck out of it.
The company has an iPhone app that can be used by teams to set up and host conference calls. The app — which leverages the Twilio communication cloud on the back-end — works with your work email system, contacts list, and calendar to put all the information you need to participate on one screen in the app.
It’s also added cool features. The app will call the phone of the call organizer when the first invited participant has dialed in. It can also call all participants at the scheduled start time or when the first attendee joins. “That puts minutes back into your day,” said Speakeasy CMO Dave Ewart.
After the call is over, the apps sends call information including attendance, participation, and call duration available to each participant. You can also use the app to see who’s on the call without a verbal roll call, then control the call from an iPhone to add, mute, or drop participants.
The opportunity here is that conference calling really hasn’t changed that much in the mobile age. “Conference calling is the red-headed stepchild that we’re dragging into the future, kicking and screaming,” Ewart said.
And Speakeasy has some big plans for improving the product. Ewart explains that they plan on adding meeting agendas to the presentation, as well as call transcripts, social contact information, and other contextual information.
“We want to bring people closer together by creating virtual experiences that are more productive than in-person meetings,” said Speakeasy’s Mohsin. “We’ve come up with an angle here where we’re creating a business conversation between people instead of just a teleconference.”
Several people on the management team came from Salesforce, and ties to the cloud giant remain strong. Mohsin said his company plans to make an announcement in June about a product-level integration between Speakeasy and the Salesforce customer relationship management platform, the biggest in the world.
“This is a great technology and a great company, and these guys are going to break through walls to get the job done,” said Byron Deeter, Speakeasy cofounder and Board Member, and Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners..
The Speakeasy Conference Calling App is available today in the Apple App Store and is currently free.