Confrere, a video calling service designed specifically for professionals who need to hold online consultations or meeting with clients, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding.
Leading the round is Berlin’s Point Nine Capital, with participation from Nordic Makers, The Nordic Web Ventures, and Fathom Capital. A number of angel investors also took part in the round, including Albert Armengo (the founder of Doctoralia, sold to Docplanner), as well as a number of physicians who are users of the product.
Notably, Confrere was co-founded by CEO Svein Yngvar Willassen, who previously founded and headed up appear.in, another video calling service but one designed for team collaboration. The startup’s other co-founders are CTO Dag-Inge Aas and CPO Ida Aalen.
“I knew from my time with appear.in that meetings between professionals and their clients were a different use case than team meetings,” Yngvar Willassen tells me. “Appear.in and other current video tools do not serve that use case well. I found that it would probably be better to make a new service for this”.
That’s because a typical professional receives many client calls after another, and this also makes it awkward to use typical room-based systems like Zoom or appear.in. “In addition, of course, needing to download and install an application is out of the question. It needs to run in the browser, also on mobile phones,” says the Confrere CEO.
To that end, Confrere’s UX is tailored for professional-client calls, and enables professionals to receive multiple clients after each other without the risk of clients bumping into each other. It works in the browser on Android and iPhone; you simply send a link or add a button to your website to start receiving calls. In addition, Confrere offers an API that makes it easy for other SaaS companies to add video calling to their offering.
“The largest group [of users] are professionals like physicians, therapists, tutors, recruiters, lawyers and so on. Basically, everyone who spends a lot of their day meeting their customers or clients in their office as part of their business. We believe all of these businesses have the potential to work more efficiently by utilising video communication with customers,” says Yngvar Willassen.
Adds Confrere’s Aalen: “The fact that you can brand your video calls, charge for your services over video, and where it’s super easy for the end user to enter the video call… is simply not something anyone else is doing. Some might say it’s a niche market, but we believe it’s a market with huge potential. There are so many professions that typically have 1-1 meetings with their customers, clients or leads, and many of them could have been done on video instead of meeting face to face. We’re creating a new market”.