Similar to Campfire, HipChat provides a simple application for communication within businesses. The startup, which launched in private beta in 2009, offers both a web and desktop client based on Adobe AIR that lets you chat with your entire team at once, or hold more private discussions with select team members. The application includes support for quick attachment sharing, notifications when you receive a message, video chat, and a searchable web archive for past messages. It’s incredibly easy to use and setup and doesn’t require a company email address.
The apps, which are free, have much of the same functionality as the web and desktop apps, but with a few extras including syncing between the client, push notifications for new messages, room invites, or mentions. We are told and Android app is on the way and the startup plans to add collaborative features like group video chat and screensharing.
And HipChat is growing like a weed (40 percent each month), and has hundreds of paying companies, including GrubHub, AllRecipes, and TED. HipChat was founded by Garret Heaton, Pete Curley, Chris Rivers, who previously founded calendar startup HipCal, which was acquired by Plaxo in 2006 (which was eventually acquired by Comcast). HipChat, which recently raised $100K in funding, faces competition from 37 Signals’ Campfire and Yammer.