Owl Labs, a Boston-based startup that develops AI-powered, 360-degree video conferencing solutions, has secured $25 million funding in a Series C round led by HP Tech Ventures, the venture capital arm of HP Inc.
Other investors, including Japan’s Sourcenext, Matrix Partners, Spark Capital (invested in Lumafield and ELISE), and Playground Global, also participated in the round.
Besides funding, Owl Labs also signed a strategic partnership with HP, and as a result, Angelo Del Priore, Partner at HP Tech Ventures, has joined Owl Labs’ board of directors.
The latest round brings the total funding raised by Owl Labs to date to $47 million.
The US company will use the new fund to support product development and increase global adoption of the company’s products, including the Meeting Owl, Whiteboard Owl, and Meeting HQ.
The company recently launched the latest device in its flagship product line, the Meeting Owl 3. More than 130,000 organizations globally, including 84 Fortune 100 companies, use Owl Labs products to ensure a level playing field between in-person and remote participants in hybrid meetings.
Partnership with HP
As per the deal, HP will collaborate with Owl Labs to continue its accelerated growth, invest in its hardware and software offerings, and deepen partnerships with a commercial agreement between Owl Labs and HP France, where HP will launch Owl Labs’ products with their local sales teams.
Further, HP will provide sales coverage and outreach with enterprise companies, further deepen the company’s relationships with small businesses and educational institutions through Owl Labs products.
How was Owl Labs born?
Max Makeev and Mark Schnittman founded Owl Labs in 2014. The idea for Owl Labs was born when Mark worked remotely for a startup in Las Vegas while living in Boston.
As one of the only remote employees, meeting and working with a group of people sitting together was incredibly painful. It was hard to see what was happening, difficult to hear what people were saying, and a challenge to actively contribute.
He realised that current video conferencing tools are not optimised for remote participants and don’t provide them with a helpful, inclusive experience.
And that’s how Owl Labs was born.
“Owl Labs was founded in 2014, based on emerging trends in remote collaboration – when the pandemic began six years later, the instant, worldwide adoption of distributed work kickstarted a paradigm shift that accelerated our growth by 7X in the past few years,” says Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs. “We are deliberate about what companies we forge relationships with, and we are thrilled to partner with HP, an industry leader in the hybrid work technology space, with a mission closely aligned with ours. We believe the workplace will never be the same as it was pre-pandemic, and HP has clearly shown a commitment to transforming it to a hybrid model – not only through its release of HP Presence but also through its acquisition of Poly and other investments in the space. This strategic partnership will help us grow even faster and ensure that we continue to maintain our pace-setting lead on product development.”
360-degree video conferencing solutions
Owl Labs is the first to build AI-powered, 360-degree video conferencing solutions for hybrid organisations.
The company’s flagship product, the Meeting Owl 3, is the first WiFi-enabled, 360-degree camera, microphone, and speaker that automatically zooms in on whoever’s speaking.
Owl Labs has been expanding globally since 2020 with significant sales and adoption in key European markets, with France being a high-potential growth market.
The company recently hired Stuart Collingwood, Owl Labs’ General Manager of the UK and Europe. Stuart joins Owl Labs with sales and marketing experience with early and late-stage startups, growing companies’ footprints and presence across Europe.
Currently, Owl Labs has more than 100 employees, with 60% of its board members being immigrants to the US.
“Investing in Owl Labs aligns with HP’s strategy to deliver more inclusive and immersive hybrid work solutions to our customers,” says Angelo Del Priore, Partner at HP Tech Ventures. “We have been impressed by Owl Labs’ spirit of innovation and ability to disrupt. We see a bright future for Owl Labs as secular trends in hybrid work provide fertile opportunities for continued innovation, disruption, and growth.”