Why are we all trapped in enterprise chat apps if we talk 6X faster than we type, and our brain processes visual info 60,000X faster than text? Thanks to Instagram, we’re not as camera-shy anymore. And everyone’s trying to remain in flow instead of being distracted by multi-tasking.
That’s why now is the time for Loom. It’s an enterprise collaboration video messaging service that lets you send quick clips of yourself so you can get your point across and get back to work. Talk through a problem, explain your solution, or narrate a screenshare. Some engineering hocus pocus sees videos start uploading before you finish recording so you can share instantly viewable links as soon as you’re done.
“What we felt was that more visual communication could be translated into the workplace and deliver disproportionate value” co-founder and CEO Joe Thomas tells me. He actually conducted our whole interview over Loom, responding to emailed questions with video clips.
Launched in 2016, Loom is finally hitting its growth spurt. It’s up from 1.1 million users and 18,000 companies in February to 1.8 million people at 50,000 businesses sharing 15 million minutes of Loom videos per month. Remote workers are especially keen on Loom since it gives them face-to-face time with colleagues without the annoyance of scheduling synchronous video calls. “80% of our professional power users had primarily said that they were communicating with people that they didn’t share office space with” Thomas notes.
A smart product, swift traction, and a shot at riding the consumerization of enterprise trend has secured Loom a $ 30 million Series B. The round that’s being announced later today was led by prestigious SAAS investor Sequoia and joined by Kleiner Perkins, Figma CEO Dylan Field, Front CEO Mathilde Collin, and Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.
“At Instagram, one of the biggest things we did was focus on extreme performance and extreme ease of use and that meant optimizing every screen, doing really creative things about when we started uploading, optimizing everything from video codec to networking” Krieger says. “Since then I feel like some products have managed to try to capture some of that but few as much as Loom did. When I first used Loom I turned to Kevin who was my Instagram co-founder and said, ‘oh my god, how did they do that? This feels impossibly fast.’”
Systrom concurs about the similarities, saying “I’m most excited because I see how they’re tackling the problem of visual communication in the same way that we tried to tackle that at Instagram.” Loom is looking to double-down there, potentially adding the ability to Like and follow videos from your favorite productivity gurus or sharpest co-workers.
Loom is also prepping some of its most requested features. The startup is launching an iOS app next month with Android coming the first half of 2020, improving its video editor with blurring for hiding your bad hair day and stitching to connect multiple takes. New branding options will help external sales pitches and presentations look right. What I’m most excited for is transcription, which is also slated for the first half of next year through a partnership with another provider, so you can skim or search a Loom. Sometimes even watching at 2X speed is too slow.
But the point of raising a massive $ 30 million Series B just a year after Loom’s $ 11 million Kleiner-led Series A is to nail the enterprise product and sales process. To date, Loom has focused on a bottom-up distribution strategy similar to Dropbox. It tries to get so many individual employees to use Loom that it becomes a team’s default collaboration software. Now it needs to grow up so it can offer the security and permissions features IT managers demand. Loom for teams is rolling out in beta access this year before officially launching in early 2020.
Loom’s bid to become essential to the enterprise, though, is its team video library. This will let employees organize their Looms into folders of a knowledge base so they can explain something once on camera, and everyone else can watch whenever they need to learn that skill. No more redundant one-off messages begging for a team’s best employees to stop and re-teach something. The Loom dashboard offers analytics on who’s actually watching your videos. And integration directly into popular enterprise software suites will let recipients watch without stopping what they’re doing.
To build out these features Loom has already grown to a headcount of 45. It’s also hired away former head of growth at Dropbox Nicole Obst, head of design for Slack Joshua Goldenberg, and VP of commercial product strategy for Intercom Matt Hodges.
Still, the elephants in the room remain Slack and Microsoft Teams. Right now, they’re mainly focused on text messaging with some additional screensharing and video chat integrations. They’re not building Loom-style asynchronous video messaging…yet. “We want to be clear about the fact that we don’t think we’re in competition with Slack or Microsoft Teams at all. We are a complementary tool to chat” Thomas insists. But given the similar productivity and communication ethos, those incumbents could certainly opt to compete. Slack already has 12 million daily users it could provide with video tools.
Hodges, Loom’s head of marketing, tells me “I agree Slack and Microsoft could choose to get into this territory, but what’s the opportunity cost for them in doing so? It’s the classic build vs. buy vs. integrate argument.” Slack bought screensharing tool Screenhero, but partners with Zoom and Google for video chat. Loom will focus on being easily integratable so it can plug into would-be competitors. And Hodges notes that “Delivering asynchronous video recording and sharing at scale is non-trivial. Loom holds a patent on its streaming, transcoding, and storage technology, which has proven to provide a competitive advantage to this day.”
The tea leaves point to video invading more and more of our communication, so I expect rival startups and features to Loom will crop up. Vidyard and Wistia’s Soapbox are already pushing into the space. As long as it has the head start, Loom needs to move as fast as it can. “It’s really hard to maintain focus to deliver on the core product experience that we set out to deliver versus spreading ourselves too thin. And this is absolutely critical” Thomas tells me.
One thing that could set Loom apart? A commitment to financial fundamentals. “When you grow really fast, you can sometimes lose sight of what is the core reason for a business entity to exist, which is to become profitable. . . Even in a really bold market where cash can be cheap, we’re trying to keep profitability at the top of our minds.”
Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a foundational technology for enterprise software development and startups have begun addressing a variety of issues around using AI to make software and processes much more efficient.
To that end, we are delighted to announce that Jocelyn Goldfein, a Managing Director at Zetta Venture Partners will be joining on us a panel to discuss AI in the enterprise. It will take place at the TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise show on September 5 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
It’s not just startups that are involved in AI in the enterprise. Some of the biggest names in enterprise software including Salesforce Einstein, Adobe Sensei and IBM Watson have been addressing the need for AI to help solve the enterprise data glut.
Computers can process large amounts of information much more quickly than humans, and as enterprise companies generate increasing amounts of data, they need help understanding it all as the volume of information exceeds human capacity to sort through it.
Goldfein brings a deep engineering background to her investment work. She served as a VP of engineering at VMware and as an engineering director at Facebook, where she led the project that adopted machine learning for the News Feed ranker, launched major updates in photos and search, and helped spearhead Facebook’s pivot to mobile. Goldfein drove significant reforms in Facebook hiring practices and is a prominent evangelist for women in computer science. As an investor, she primarily is focused on startups using AI to take more efficient approaches to infrastructure, security, supply chains and worker productivity.
At TC Sessions: Enterprise, she’ll be joining Bindu Reddy from Reality Engines along with other panelists to discuss the growing role of AI in enterprise software with TechCrunch editors. You’ll learn why AI startups are attracting investor attention and how AI in general could fundamentally transform enterprise software.
Early Bird tickets to see Joyce at TC Sessions: Enterprise are on sale for just $ 249 when you book here; but hurry, prices go up by $ 100 soon! Students, grab your discounted tickets for just $ 75 here.
When you think of old, giant mainframes that sit in the basement of a giant corporation, still doing the same work they did 30 years ago, chances are you’re thinking about a financial institution. It’s the financial enterprises, though, that are often leading the charge in bringing new technologies and software development practices to their employees and customers. That’s in part because they are in a period of disruption that forces them to become more nimble. Often, this means leaving behind legacy technology and embracing the cloud.
At TC Sessions: Enterprise, which is happening on September 5 in San Francisco, Capital One executive VP in charge of its technology operations, George Brady, will talk about the company’s journey from legacy hardware and software to embracing the cloud and open source, all while working in a highly regulated industry. Indeed, Capital One was among the first companies to embrace the Facebook-led Open Compute project and it’s a member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It’s this transformation at Capital One that Brady is leading.
At our event, Brady will join a number of other distinguished panelists to specifically talk about his company’s journey to the cloud. There, Capital One is using serverless compute, for example, to power its Credit Offers API using AWS’s Lambda service, as well as a number of other cloud technologies.
Before joining Capital One as its CTO in 2014, Brady ran Fidelity Investment’s global enterprise infrastructure team from 2009 to 2014 and served as Goldman Sachs’ head of global business applications infrastructure before that.
Currently, he leads cloud application and platform productization for Capital One. Part of that portfolio is Critical Stack, a secure container orchestration platform for the enterprise. Capital One’s goal with this work is to help companies across industries become more compliant, secure and cost-effective operating in the public cloud.
Early-bird tickets are still on sale for $ 249; grab yours today before we sell out.
Student tickets are just $ 75 — grab them here.
It’s here! Now is your chance to win 1 of 3 free conference passes to Hero Conf London with our annual Golden Ticket Giveaway.
Read more at PPCHero.com
Meet two new ways to understand and better serve your customers
Here’s good news for marketers: as you heard yesterday at Google Marketing Next both Optimize and Surveys 360 will soon be integrating with AdWords. The Surveys 360 integration is now live in the U.S. and Canada; the integration with Optimize will be available in the coming weeks.
Optimize is an A/B testing and personalization tool that makes it easy to see which changes to your web pages work best for your users and your business. Surveys 360 is a market research tool that helps enterprises gather fast, reliable insights from real people online and on mobile.
Why the new integrations? To make it easier than ever to understand and better serve your potential customers. Here’s some detail on both.
Better landing pages, better results
Advertisers naturally spend a lot of time thinking about their ads. What gets people to click? Will the words “free shipping” sell more than “10% off”? AdWords has always made it easy to create many different ad campaigns to see which performs best. But the ad is only part of the experience.
The new integration between Optimize and AdWords makes it easier than ever to take the next step: to improve and personalize the landing pages those ads lead to. The integration gives marketers a fast way to create and test custom landing pages based on the keyword, ad group, or campaign associated with an ad – with no need to deal with destination URLs or messy query parameters.
It’s worth it. 90% of organizations that invest in personalized consumer experiences agree that they contribute significantly to more business profitability. 1
Suppose a hotel wants to improve its landing page for the keyword family friendly hotels. Using Optimize, the hotel can create and test a new variation of the landing page, one that features an image of a family enjoying themselves at the hotel pool, instead of a generic image of the hotel exterior. If the new page leads to more reservations, they’ve got a win. Then it’s easy to keep testing headlines and images that might also do well.
The AdWords integration will be available for both Optimize and Optimize 360 and will be available to start using in the coming weeks. If you haven’t tried Optimize, you can get started for free here.
Why not ask your customers?
We all need faster insights these days. That’s one reason we added Surveys 360 to the Google Analytics 360 Suite last year. Surveys 360 lets you ask questions directly to a pool of 15 million real people as they browse the web or use their smartphone. The results arrive in days, or sometimes in just hours.
Now, what if you could combine that kind of speedy real-world feedback with the wealth of data that you already have in AdWords? Then you could understand both what users do and why they do it.
That’s what we’re announcing today: remarketing lists published in AdWords are now available in Surveys 360 for surveys targeting. That means you can survey the users on your remarketing lists to find out what worked best for them (or didn’t).
Want to know why shoppers abandoned their shopping carts? Ask them! Curious about how many customers converted due to your new free shipping offer? Ask them!
Then change your marketing message on the spot to match what you learn. If your survey shows that the words “family friendly” are what brought customers to your hotel, you can build new ad groups to take advantage of this information. (You might even use Optimize to test new landing pages with that phrase!)
Here’s an early report from the online shopping site Jet:
“Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) have been an effective way for Jet.com to drive website traffic, but we needed to optimize for conversions. Surveys 360 connected us directly to our customers through remarketing audiences to determine which factors influence their purchase decisions most. The results were clear: customers care most about free, fast shipping and our free returns. We used this insight to revise our messaging in PLAs and across Jet.com which quickly improved performance.”
–Ben Babcock, Director of UX Research at Jet.com
Getting started is easy: Just log into your Surveys 360 account with the same credentials used for your AdWords account. When you select “remarketing audience” for survey targeting, your AdWords remarketing lists will be automatically pulled into Surveys 360 and ready for use. Learn more.
All together now
These new integrations are one more way for Optimize and Surveys 360 users to make the most of their AdWords investments. We hope you’ll find them a fast and simple way to understand what works for your customers and give them more of what they want.
1Econsultancy and Google, Marketing and Measurement Survey, March 2017
Posted by Michael Cumberbatch, Product Manager, Surveys 360 and Rotimi Iziduh, Product Manager, Optimize
When: Tuesday, May 23, 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Duration: 1 hour
Where: Here on the Google Analytics Blog
Be the first to hear about Google’s latest marketing innovations, the moment they’re announced. Watch live as my team and I share new Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations designed to improve your ability to reach consumers, simplify campaign measurement and increase your productivity. We’ll also give you a sneak peek at how brands are starting to use the Google Assistant to delight customers.
Register for the live stream here.
Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads & Commerce
In a Salary.com survey from 2012, 64% of respondents said they visit non-work related sites every day while they’re at work. Of those, 41% said they visit Facebook. Add two years and allowing for people who lied about it – I’d guess that an even larger percentage of workers are logging on to check their Facebook feed either through work computers or their own mobile phone.
So, in the spirit of, ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’, Facebook is rolling out Facebook for Work; a private platform that lets companies create their own social network inside a very familiar framework.
According to TechCrunch (and everyone else who picked up the story), it’s still very much a closed beta but at least now it’s official. There’s even an app in the app store but you can’t use it unless you’re one of the chosen few.
When a company signs on to take the ride, they can create Facebook at Work logins for their employees or just let everyone sign in with their personal Facebook credentials. The first option is more secure but sort of defeats the whole purpose of using Facebook as your social network provider. There are other companies in this space but only Facebook has a built-in user base.
The hope is that by connecting through Facebook, employees will be more apt to participate in group discussions and communicate with each other on a regular basis. Both are good for morale and, ironically, could make employees more productive. It might also make employees more likely to deal with work issues when they’re not at work. How many people will be able to resist clicking on a company update when it’s in line with a cute baby video and photos from your sister’s vacation in Hawaii?
LinkedIn Links Up
LinkedIn, the social network you’re supposed to visit while you’re at work, is also working on extending its company boundaries.
Rec/Code says LinkedIn is slowing rolling out tools that will encourage employees to use the social network for internal communication with co-workers. It seems like a good idea, since LinkedIn is all business, all the time but wouldn’t it be easier to just use your company email when you want to reach a co-worker?
If they go ahead with the idea, it will require a mind shift since most people think of LinkedIn as a site for networking with people you don’t already know. Then again, it’s better than hitching your work life to your personal life on Facebook.
PPC Heroes new and old (maybe seasoned is the better word) will assemble in 3 short months for Hero Conf Los Angeles.
Read more at PPCHero.com
You know when you get that ear-to-ear grin, a little bounce in your seat and an uncontrollable maniacal giggle about really great marketing ideas, new ways to maneuver code or amazingly cool clients that are interested in you? That’s what the past 6 months has been like at SEOgadget in San Francisco since we first opened up shop downtown.