COVID-19 Startups Venture

RemoteHQ’s $2.7M Seed Round Helps Expand Remote Work Alternative

Illustration of remote worker on Zoom meeting.

As more companies support employees working remotely for the foreseeable future, RemoteHQ is poised to help those teams stay connected with their offices.

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The Boston-based startup, itself a remote company, launched its virtual office platform last October to help employees work from anywhere. The company quietly raised a $2.7 million seed round in the fourth quarter of 2019 and announced it on Friday.

The funding round was led by TECHU and Underscore VC and will be used to enhance RemoteHQ’s platform and drive growth. It will go toward continuing to build out the platform and engineering and business teams, as well as the company’s go-to-market strategy, RemoteHQ’s Founder Waikit Lau told Crunchbase News.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused most employees to work from home in March. Two months later, companies are beginning to discuss when, or if, it will be safe to return to the office.

Some companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Square and Shopify said they will allow employees to continue working from home. Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he predicts that within 10 years, 50 percent of the company’s workforce will be remote.

Lau said he founded two startups, Telaria and ScanScout, which he grew to successful exits. He left in 2013, to spend some time thinking about problems he had been trying to solve while working for other companies.

“This was just our pain point, but we looked around and saw that the best we could do for remote teams were Slack, video conferencing, screen share and G suite, but we felt something was amiss,” Lau said. “Companies that are mostly or fully remote can only replicate some modalities. Because of that, we talked about what tool set was needed to replicate the very natural flow of connection.”

Founded in 2016, RemoteHQ enables customers to create an interactive meeting room where their employees can use video conferencing to communicate, as well as allowing apps, such as Trello, to be managed simultaneously by those in the room without having to download the app.

Another pain point was being able to change layout design, so users are able to move the various apps or videos in a way they want, Lau said.

Lau wouldn’t disclose revenue, but did say the company began attracting more attention in early March when nonprofits and school systems inquired about using RemoteHQ, but for free because they didn’t have money in their budgets for this kind of unexpected cost.

As a result, RemoteHQ opened full access to its platform’s features for free through Aug. 1.

Going forward, he said he expects the remote working field to become more competitive as more companies offer remote products to meet demand.

“We expect it to be noisier in the coming months and years, and this has become one of the hardest spaces to get into in the last few months,” Lau said. “We think teams are smart and pick tools that help their workflow and save time, so our view is that the right set of tools will bubble up to the right people.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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