Today Owl Labs comes out of stealth and announces a $6M Series A financing led by Matrix Partners. Founded by CEO Max Makeev and CTO Mark Schnittman, both formerly of iRobot, the company is building an IoT video conferencing hardware product promising the inclusive meeting experience remote employees need and deserve.
“As much as the internet has improved the way remote work gets done, we’ve got a long way to go,” said Antonio Rodriguez, General Partner at Matrix and early investor in Oculus VR. “After seeing Owl Labs’ prototype for the first time, it was clear that this could be the missing piece that helps remote participants feel as though they were in the room."
Current video conferencing solutions often aren’t optimized for remote workers, leaving them feeling like a “fly on a wall” or a mere lurker during in-person team meetings. Owl Labs will solve this frustration by providing the remote employee a more connected experience.
Owl Labs was seeded by Playground Ventures and was the first company to join Playground's West Coast Design Studio, both founded by Android co-creator Andy Rubin to take advantage of the IoT hardware advances brought by the smartphone revolution.
After choosing Boston as their home to build the company, the cofounders quickly attracted seasoned talent, including Karen Rubin and Rebecca Corliss, both among HubSpot’s original 50 employees. With years of witnessing the communication struggles of distributed teams, they were compelled to join Owl Labs’ mission. Owl Labs also has six former iRobot employees joining the team of just under 20.
Owl Labs’ innovative new technology will be one of the first IoT devices for the company conference room. The product is a USB audio and video device that optimizes the remote employee’s meeting experience. Owl Labs will share full product details at the product’s launch this summer. The product will be available for purchase later this year.