Remote work and events startup twine acquires YC-backed Glimpse to launch on Zoom

Twine, a company that provides networking tools for virtual events and remote teams, will soon bring its services to Zoom thanks to its just-closed acquisition of the Y Combinator-backed startup, Glimpse, which had developed a “speed matching” platform designed for virtual events. Glimpse’s idea was to offer a way to facilitate the connections that typically took place at real-world events, and bring them online by matching attendees within video chats using AI intelligence. Recently, Glimpse had been testing a new integration that would allow event hosts to add speed networking to their Zoom meetings, webinars and events.

This integration is powered by Zoom’s new “Breakout Room” APIs, to which Glimpse and a handful of others had early access. Though both companies were working in a similar space of working to connect people remotely, Glimpse’s Zoom integration put them ahead of twine in terms of product development. Plus, twine co-founder and CEO Lawrence Coburn admits his company had even lost some deals to Glimpse.

With this acquisition, Glimpse’s technology will become available to twine’s customer base, including its plans to expand to reach the broader Zoom user base.

In the next few weeks, a small group of apps built using Zoom’s new breakout room APIs will be added to its app store, the Zoom App Marketplace, which today houses dozens of apps either designed to work within the Zoom client itself, or expand its capabilities in other ways. The forthcoming “twine for Zoom” product will be among them, giving customers access to matching tools, networking and virtual watercooler tools that can be used not only for virtual events, but also other types of meetings, like company socials, all-hands meetings, new hire onboardings, community meetups and more.

“We’ve admired the Glimpse team and products from afar for a long time, and we are thrilled to be teaming up with them,” Coburn said. “What they’ve managed to build within the Zoom ecosystem is nothing short of remarkable, with game-changing impact for remote teams and virtual events.”

Though a relatively young company with only a small amount of revenue, Glimpse had grown to 150 customers and had a waitlist of 700 more businesses interested in using its platform. These ranged from edtech companies to VCs to even enterprise clients. The latter appealed most to twine, which already had larger companies using its tools, including Amazon, Microsoft and eBay, for example.

“Glimpse is a great example of a highly innovative company utilizing the Zoom App Marketplace to enhance the customer experience,” said Ross Mayfield, product lead Zoom Apps & Integrations, in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the twine team bring twine for Zoom to market,” he added.

Glimpse had participated in startup accelerator Y Combinator’s winter 2020 batch and had seed-stage investment from both YC and Maven Ventures. Its co-founders, Helena Merk and Brian Li, will remain on retainer to be available to twine during the transition. However, its team of three employees is joining twine, which now has 16 people full-time. The acquisition terms aren’t being disclosed, as this is a small exit, given the early nature of both companies. However, we understand this to be an all-stock deal in the seven-figure range.