First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Video Conferencing Startup Highfive Raises $32 Million

The company began shipping its product in December, and now has more than 500 customers and is on track to process 1 million video minutes a week.

Highfive video

Highfive, a startup in the increasingly crowded video conferencing space, has raised another $32 million in funding five months after launching its first product.

Among the investors in the Series B funding were Lightspeed Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst and SV Angel. Other investors include Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of cloud storage company Box; Drew Houston, founder and CEO of cloud storage company Dropbox; founder and CEO Marc Benioff; and Shishir Mehrotra, vice president of product at YouTube.

Lightspeed Venture Partners decided to invest in Highfive after not only reviewing the product but seeing the company's growth over the past few months, according to Arif Janmohamed, a partner at Lightspeed and a new member of Highfive's board of directors.

"Incumbents like Cisco and Polycom have legacy products that are overpriced, complicated to use, and are out of touch with today's trends like cloud and mobile," Janmohamed said in a statement. "Every one of us has experienced how difficult it can be to connect people at work face-to-face, and at Highfive, I'm excited to play a role in finally solving this for companies large and small."

According to Highfive officials, they began shipping their namesake product in December 2014, and within the first three months saw more than 500 companies—including Patagonia and Zenefits—buy the video conferencing system. Highfive is on track to process 1 million video minutes per week within the first six months after shipping, according to co-founder and CEO Shan Sinha.

The company's all-in-one system—which sells for $799—includes a video conferencing unit that sits atop a display and plugs into an HDMI port, power supply and Ethernet jack. Highfive officials said it's easy and fast to set up—about two minutes—and people can access video meetings from any device, including smartphones and tablets.

"Now anyone can walk into a Highfive-enabled conference room and give a presentation or join a video call or Web conference from a laptop, tablet or mobile device," Sinha wrote in a blog post in October 2014 when introducing Highfive. "There are no remote controls and no cables. Highfive automatically detects when a user is in the room and gives that user the option to hand off his call or presentation to the meeting room TV."

Highfive, which has raised a total of $45.4 million, will use the new funding to double their workforce of 50 employees in areas such as engineering, sales and marketing, officials said.