AnyDesk scores €6.5M for its remote desktop software

AnyDesk, a startup that offers remote desktop software powered by a bespoke video codec, has scored €6.5 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is EQT Ventures, with participation from angel investors, including Chris Hitchen, and previous backer Andreas Burike.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based company says it will use the injection of cash for further development of the AnyDesk product and to grow the technical and commercial teams.

“AnyDesk’s mission can be summarised as overcoming distances,” co-founder and CEO Philipp Weiser tells TechCrunch. “Today, people need to work with their teams and content just as quickly and effectively when working remotely as they do when in the office. Legacy remote desktop offerings do not enable this — they are complicated, frustrating and slow. At best, you can do a presentation or help a colleague install a printer. Some ideas are born out of frustration and we decided to re-engineer the remote desktop for today’s workplace”.

To that end, as well as modern-day apps for Windows, MacOS, various flavours of Linux/Unix, Android and iOS, the AnyDesk team has created a proprietary video codec called “DeskRT” that has been engineered especially for graphical user interfaces. It transmits 60 frames per seconds and prioritises low latency.

As a result, the startup says users generally experience high quality video and sound, and image transmission that is fast and fluid enough to forget that you are using a different computer. That’s because, unlike traditional screen sharing, AnyDesk is built for collaboration.

“We created AnyDesk so that anyone, anywhere can get their work done,” says Weiser. “More than 50 million users worldwide have downloaded AnyDesk. We have more than 7,000 business customers, including Spidercam, Amedes and Sun Chemical”.

There is a free version of AnyDesk for personal use, and various professional tiers, all the way up to large enterprise use.

Meanwhile, the AnyDesk co-founder concedes that there a number of other players in the rather crowded remote desktop software space. They include LogMeIn, TeamViewer, Splashtop, and Citrix GoTo. However, he claims AnyDesk is better than current offerings as the startup has approached the remote desktop from a “software-design focused angle” and created an architecture and a custom video codec specifically for the purpose of low latency transmission.

“Some competing products use expensive hardware for this, but this is not the case with AnyDesk. We’ve achieved superior performance in a software-only solution. This means AnyDesk provides people with the experience they’ve come to expect when consuming content. When you view a website or video on your devices, chances are you don’t think about the web browser or media player working in the background. You are focused on the content. AnyDesk works in the same way, running behind-the-scenes so you can be productive, creative and get on with your work”.

As an aside, EQT Ventures is talking up the way it discovered AnyDesk, namely via the VC firm’s “Motherbrain” AI platform. The software claims to scan the tech startup ecosystem online for specific signals related to a company’s performance. Based on these digital footprints, it then flags the most promising companies and surfaces the relevant structured and unstructured data to the EQT Ventures team.

Of course, this sort of approach isn’t unique to EQT — most VC firms of a certain size use data tracking as part of their deal discovery and evaluation, and newer VCs such as InReach Ventures and Fly Ventures make a virtue of this — but it is perhaps noteworthy nonetheless.