- Here.fm raises $ 2.9 million seed round
- The company is a fresh web-based communication platform
- It was led by Y Combinators and a group of investors
Her.fm is a fresh web-based platform. It is a video workspace. Here lets users share screen pictures, make notes and collaborate with friends and co-workers. It is founded by Jesse Boyes and Seth Harris. The company announced the closing of a $2.9 million seed round from FirstMark.
Here.fm was led by Y Combinators and a group of angel investors. It is all about giving people a chance to create personal chat rooms, shareable and flexible videos. The two founders moved to Zoom to collaborate during the pandemic.
Zoom is a software company that offers a communication platform. It connects people through video, voice, chat, and content sharing. However, the two of them felt that there were several shortcomings to this collaboration. According to Harris, it is very impersonal and formal to switch into presentation mode with his co-founder.
Also, the notes and the other content in the meeting disappeared when the meeting ended, “like a wormhole”. Both of them set out to add more layers to virtual communication.
Areas to focus upon
According to Harris, there are four main content of communication. “What you are saying, where you are, what you’re doing, and how you move”.
Nowadays, everything we do exclusively focuses on what you say. It has very little focus on what you do. Zoom is basically a phone call with pictures. In comparison with that Here.fm is a fully customizable room. It has a video chat built on top of it.
Here.fm gives users the ability to decorate the rooms with virtual items. Supplementary to this it also gives gifs, backgrounds, notes, pictures, etc. The users can also customize their own video chat windows. They can customize for others arranging them in the room in the size and shape that they prefer.
Like other video chat software, users can also share their screen. Harris and Boyes are not ready to commit to a certain business model. They would prefer to see how users approach the platform. Some have built product war rooms, while others have set it differently. Some have set up their own virtual Blue Bottle shop to have coffee with each other.
On the other hand, some have also set up Pilates classes. These glasses look and feel more like an actual Pilates studio than a Zoom call would. There is a potential here to offer payment processing for folks hosting classes or host events.
There is also an option to charge for premium virtual objects or goods. The company launched two months ago. Since then it has created 1000s of rooms, with an average user session being 41 minutes.
What is the definition of a challenge for the company?
Competition in this space is boosting up. Some similar companies offer the same features. Companies like Mmhmm fall under this category but it primarily focuses on presenting. Macro is a tool in Zoom calls to ensure meetings are productive. The list of such startups doesn’t end here.
However, the founders don’t see competition as a challenge. “It’s about generating strong emotional responses for users”, said Harris.