SAN FRANCISCO — Avatour, which offers 360-degree technology for remote meetings, has announced a $2.9 million seed round led by Ulu Ventures. The funding will allow Avatour to scale its technology and expand into new markets internationally. Other participants in the round include Merus Capital, NTT Docomo Ventures, Plug & Play Ventures, and 500 Startups.
The Avatour platform combines real-world 360-degree capture, real-time communication, and optional VR/AR technology to immerse remote users in a location as if they were actually there in person. This combination of visual realism and effortless conversation results in a superior means of collaboration between remote users and on-site personnel, saving money while increasing productivity. Avatour’s cloud-based service utilizes a combination of proprietary software and off-the-shelf hardware to quickly deploy virtual meetings for up to 20 live viewers per session.
“Businesses conducted over 2 billion site meetings in 2019, from inspections to facility tours to site-specific training. While travel has always been expensive and inconvenient, the pandemic has emphasized the need for a more efficient option. Our unique and easy-to-deploy solution makes effective remote site meetings possible for the first time,” stated Avatour CEO and co-founder Devon Copley. “With the increased demand for virtual solutions over the past year, we’ve proven our business model and technology. This latest infusion of support enables us to double down on a platform that’s already making a huge impact for our customers worldwide.”
Since its commercial release in March 2020, Avatour has enabled thousands of remote site meetings, buoyed recently by the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Avatour customers save up to 80 percent on travel costs, increasing productivity while reducing their carbon footprint. Current customers include the FAA, Thermo Fisher, Kellogg’s, and Black & Veatch.
“Working with Avatour’s technology has transformed Black & Veatch’s ability to engage with infrastructure clients around the world in just a few clicks,” said Ryan Pletka, Vice President, Innovation and Strategy at Black & Veatch. “Throughout the pandemic, our ability to provide a deeply immersive meeting experience — while remote — has been a game-changer, creating operational efficiencies and promoting collaboration between our clients and our professionals.”
“Avatour is a first-of-its-kind product offering,” said Kevin Hoffberg, Venture Partner at Ulu Ventures. “We are big believers that their category-creating immersive collaboration technology offers companies significant cost savings, time efficiency, and scalability. While recent world events have elevated the need for this type of platform, we see virtual collaboration becoming the new normal for site meetings moving forward.”
“Avatour’s solution is changing how site meetings are conducted. They bring all participants into the same space without the complicated, costly travel logistics,” said David Rangel, General Partner at Merus Capital. “Avatour provides a powerful and practical application of technology that solves a real-world issue and provides immediate value to its customers.”