room.sh, the Cape Town-based online meeting and collaborative platform has added one more feature to its offering that will allow users to videoconference. That is in addition to the ability to share documents, digital whiteboards, and code editors.
“It’s a bit hard to explain without trying it out, but try to think of it as Zoom meets Google Docs,” said Matthew Henshall, the CEO of room.sh.
Henshall said the idea of launching room.sh came to him after the frustrations he faced during meetings. He also cited research that says employees in most organizations waste 15% of their time attending the company’s meetings.
“No-one likes meetings, but they are incredibly important to run a business effectively, especially when everyone can’t be in the same place at the same time. So we found it strange that in the last 25 years of innovation with the internet, the best we’ve managed to come up with is video calls as a replacement for telephone calls.”
Henshall is also a multi-digital-entrepreneur, having co-founded SkillupTutors, which at one point grew so big to become one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing e-learning platforms. SkillupTutors even secured backing from the KNF Ventures.
“While we were growing SkillUp, we realized that taking lessons online was a growing trend with our users. Tutors on our platform were using a mix of existing tools like Skype and Google Docs to conduct lessons, but there was still too much friction.
We wanted to create a more seamless experience for them to conduct online lessons. We tried some off the shelf software, but we didn’t find anything that had the power and flexibility that we were really looking for. Given our team’s strong software development background, we eventually decided to build our own solution from the ground up.”
While developing SkillUp and refining the platform, the team realized that this tool could very well be used for conducting virtual meetings with teammates from various remote locations. That is when they ported out the core of the software room.sh and turned it into a standalone product.
room.sh has so far registered more than 10,000 hours of usage; mostly for educational purposes on SkillUp and other e-learning platforms. It has also been used for internal company meetings by early private beta testers. The pricing will be announced once the product is officially launched.