mmhmm probably has the most noisy view of the future of video conferencing. Virtual meetings are fun, flexible, and emotional when you look at the company’s recent acquisitions. Founded by Evernote creator Phil Libin, the video conference software startup announced on November 19 that it had acquired Macro. Macro is a company that develops filters, reactions, and tools to reduce the pressure of virtual meetings (and regain the energy to build relationships).
Macro and mmmmhmm began negotiations in late September and reached an agreement a few weeks later. Although the terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, it’s clear that the early stage company could afford it, given that mmhmm recently raised $ 100 million.
Macro was founded in 2019 by Ankith Harathi and John Keck, and shortly thereafter, FirstMark Capital, General Catalyst, and Underscore. It raised $ 4.3 million (about 490 million yen) in venture capital from investors such as VC (Underscore VC).
Related article: “Macro” with a new Zoom skin that focuses on self-expression and inclusion
Unlike mmhmm, which focuses on customizing the video that users deliver during a video conference, Macro allows you to change the interface that users actually work with. For example, Macro’s signature feature, Airtime, helps participants understand at a glance who is speaking the most in a meeting. Participant footage is sized according to each person’s participation so the team can better understand each participant’s influence on the meeting and who needs to speak out. Can be known.
Macro also has a custom window for “unboxing” yourself on the screen and a filter function. Macro is available on Mac OS and all Zoom clients, even if all other participants aren’t using Macro.
After Macro raised the first round of funding, Mr. Huarache had to work with the co-founder to decide whether to continue development, raise another round, or partner with another company. Explain that. Competition with other Zoom clients has intensified, and even though they have a high reputation, there was a difficult demand to develop. There they found that mmhmm had many of the features needed to succeed in the field of video conferencing.
“How can we make the conference more human? Instead of pushing each and every participant with their personality and expressiveness into a constrained box, we adapt the video conference to our humanity. “How can I get it done?” Harachi said of an early discussion with Levin’s team. “We were debating whether to use the camera or the client-side approach. They chose one and we chose the other.”
“We believe that the world of Video 2.0 is dominated by products that move seamlessly between async and sync,” Levin said. “Being able to move smoothly between recording and live is the fastest way to the future of video.” Harachi added that the app needs to be compatible with all the ways people communicate in a decentralized society. That’s all about on-the-fly calls, thought-provoking meetings, important presentations, and more.
mmhmm’s big vision is to redefine video as a medium for expression and relationship building, as Levin had clarified from the beginning. It’s literally a relationship of trust that’s difficult to build. Levin hopes that by using mmmhmm and Macro to provide more surface area in the Zoom room, there will be more room to understand who he is talking to.
“What kind of room did the other person choose? What kind of effect did they apply? This gives everyone the opportunity to be creative and customize how they look,” he said. “And it’s a little closer to you and I actually meeting and talking and getting to know each other. It’s much more expressive at the core.”
Macro is Mmhmm’s second acquisition to date. In 2020, mmhmm announced that it will acquire San Francisco-based startup Memix. Memix provides a set of filters that can be applied to both recorded and live videos, allowing you to adjust the lighting, background, and what’s displayed across the screen. According to Levin, Memix’s technology is now at the heart of mmhmm’s products.
Related article: Phil Levin’s mmhmm acquires Memix, making presentations at online conferences even more enjoyable
Macro is set to close its business by the end of November, but all seven team members have decided to join Mmhmm to continue development.
Image credit: mmhmm
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(Sentence: Natasha Mascarenhas, Translation: Hirokazu Kusakabe)