When the world shifted to remote work in 2020, Brett Martin spent several months abroad living in places like Greece, Costa Rica and Spain. He also took advantage of the opportunity to visit family during his time away from the office. This kind of freedom is one of the main reasons the vast majority of office employees prefer to work from home.
So that more people can experience this flexibility without having to sacrifice close collaboration with their teams, Martin co-founded Kumospace alongside Yang Mou during the pandemic. The platform was built to host online gatherings, from special events to daily workflows, in customizable spaces. After a new round of capital, Kumospace is furthering its solution that currently serves millions of users.
The company recently announced its $21 Series A funding round from Lightspeed to further expand its solution. The round brings Kumospace’s total capital raised to $24 million following its seed round last year.
Kumospace was designed to provide an immersive online video call experience that differs from the likes of Zoom or Google Meets. The platform provides various virtual spaces suitable for work, conferences, social events and education.
“The core value proposition of Kumospace is this idea of being able to walk over and tap someone on the shoulder, have a really quick interaction, get what you need and then go back to work, or tap [someone] on the shoulder and be like, ‘Hey, let’s play a little Tetris for 10 minutes and just chat while we decompress,’” Martin, Kumospace’s president, told Built In. “We think it’s those micro, unstructured interactions over the day that is where work gets done quickly. Also, we think it’s where camaraderie and community inside the office is built.”
When users sign into a digtal space on the platform, they’re able to move around the area and interact with others via video avatars. These spaces can be outfitted with digital furniture and other interactive elements to replicate the real-life space it’s meant to emulate. For instance, the company has designed its own virtual headquarters complete with private offices, conference rooms and places to grab virtual refreshments.
The company has made significant advancements to its platform since the time of its seed round, including a range of new software integrations. Users can collaborate on projects using a whiteboard and add quick links to shared web pages, Google Docs or other files. Kumospace also encompasses features for screen sharing, pop-out video chats, games and more.
Though it’s already come a long way since its inception, Kumospace is gearing up for further growth following this latest funding round. The company is developing a desktop app for its solution as well as a mobile app.
Whereas one of Kumospace’s key features is spatial audio that allows the user to tune into nearby conversations, the app will include an audio-only mode. Just as a browser user can activate focus mode to select when they’d like to be engaged in conversations, this feature will be similar to an audio news feed. It will alert the user whenever there’s a new conversation they can participate in.
Going forward, Kumospace also plans to build out new integrations with apps like Slack as well as various calendar solutions. While it’s keeping its approximately 20-person team on the leaner side, the company is always on the lookout for engineering and product development talent.
“There’s a reason people want to get people back to the office. … You can build relationships and you can get mentorship and have face time with your boss and there’s opportunities for upward mobility,” Martin said. “I feel like if we can help give remote teams all those same benefits of the physical office, but while providing people flexibility … I think it’ll be a massive benefit for humanity.”