The online video communication market witnessed a massive growth in 2020 due to the lockdown caused by the pandemic. Eventually, several such video communication tools are mushrooming with some of them becoming household names. One such tool is Wonder with over 200,000 monthly users. Now, this Berlin-based company has secured funding.
Investment from EQT Ventures!
Wonder announced that it has bagged $11M (nearly €9M) funding led by EQT Ventures along with participation from existing investor – Blueyard Capital. Stephane Roux, the co-founder of Wonder, commented: “We’re thrilled to have Jenny and EQT Ventures join us for the next stage of our journey, as we look to continue our growth and revolutionise how communities interact with each other.”
Online meetings feel more natural
Founded by Stephane Roux, Leonard Witteler, and Pascal Steck, Wonder is a virtual event space where people can meet and talk. Once they get close to each other, a videoconference starts. This allows them to organically form little groups and mingle, claims the company.
“Unlike other video conferencing and online event tools, Wonder is focused on natural interactions that mirror real-life dynamics of group gatherings. Users navigate a 2D space with a bubble that shows their photo and can join group conversations and broadcasts — coming and leaving seamlessly,” Jenny Dreier, venture lead, Berlin, EQT Ventures, mentions in a blog post.
Explaining how Wonder works, Steck mentions, “The basic idea is simple: each person is represented by a little avatar. By clicking or dragging your mouse, you can move around the room. If you get close enough to someone else, a video chat opens. You can see other people moving around the space and talking to each other, but you cannot hear or see their conversation unless you stand in the small circle around them.”
He also mentions that rooms can be password-protected to prevent unwanted guests from entering the room (Zoombombing). Talking about the data privacy measures Wonder undertakes Steck says, “Wonder does not have access to any of your audio or video data. We briefly hold the data to transmit it, but do not store it, and our employees cannot access it. Wonder also doesn’t have any personified data on its guests (e.g. addresses or bank details) because we don’t ask for them. If you request your own room, we ask for your email to send it to you. We store your profile picture, name, and chat so that your information doesn’t get lost between sessions.” Wonder is also 100% GDPR-compliant.
According to Dreier, “A first version of Wonder was actually created a couple years ago after Leonard (one of Wonder’s co-founders) had taught himself to code. Friends and family who tried it were excited, but Leonard believed that the tech wasn’t quite ready to allow for a pleasant experience. He put it away and worked on something else for the time being.”
“In early March, Stephane, Pascal and Leonard were working together on something totally different (ironically, a platform to organise in-person events) when COVID hit, and Leonard remembered his old project. Now the timing was right. Video communication had become mainstream with the available technology and infrastructure advancing to change the entire work-from-home dynamic. Even to the most ardent opponents of video conferencing, the future was here,” she adds.
As per Dreier, since its launch in early 2020, Wonder has grown to more than 200,000 monthly users, adding 30% week-on-week. It users include prominent names such as SAP, NASA, Deloitte, and Siemens. The company was previously called Yotribe and changed its name to Wonder in September this year.