A Christmas 2018 message from Huddly CEO Jonas Rinde
As the Norwegian nights grow ever longer and 2018 draws to a close, it’s a perfect time to take a moment and reflect on what has been another terrific year for Huddly. I’m incredibly proud of what our team has been able to achieve in 2018, and as thoughts start to turn towards the new year and all its opportunities, I’d like to take this chance to share some of our highlights from the last 12 months.
We took AI video collaboration to a whole new level with the launch of Huddly IQ
This year saw the launch of Huddly IQ, our AI-powered camera with an embedded microphone array. We are all extremely proud of the camera, the platform and what it stands for. With its onboard neural engine enabling automated user experiences and providing crucial analytic insights to organizations, IQ is the first of its kind and represents a new era in collaboration technology. The Huddly R&D department under the leadership of VP Engineering Vegard Hammer have once again outdone themselves, and we are all grateful for their expertise and hard work. The R&D department is an essential element of what makes our company unique, and we cannot wait to tell you what they have in store for Huddly next year, so stay tuned!
We acquired an AI company to strengthen the capabilities of our intelligent cameras
With our recent acquisition of fellow Norwegian startup Epigram’s assets, we are well on our way to becoming the leading AI company in our industry. The acquisition resulted in tools, IP and all AI engineers moving over to Huddly. The newest members of our engineering team are specialists in computer vision and object classification, having spent the last few years developing cutting-edge tools and software to collect and analyze big data, with an acute focus on the application of AI to understand content. The acquisition will significantly enhance our AI and Machine Learning capabilities, with Huddly already implementing plans to extend our cameras’ ability to detect and classify what they see, and how they can understand and respond to their environment. Welcome to the team Bendik, Elena, Espen, Anders, Stian, Martin, Therese, and Patrik, we are delighted to have you onboard.
We welcomed a new partner in Crestron
This year, we signed a partnership with industry giant Crestron, and we are thrilled to say that we have already begun to see terrific results. Huddly GO is now available as part of the best-selling Crestron Mercury all-in-one UC and AV tabletop solution. Also, we were delighted to launch Huddly IQ together with Crestron at Microsoft Ignite as part of the groundbreaking new Crestron Flex UC series of solutions. These exceptionally easy-to-use and manage solutions seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Zoom Rooms software, with Huddly IQ featured in the M-100 and B-100 series.
We celebrated the first anniversary of our partnership with Google
We were thrilled to celebrate a very special anniversary this year. One year ago in October, we announced that Huddly GO had been chosen to be a part of the Google Hangouts Meet kit, a curated set of four components that work together end-to-end to make video meetings easy and enjoyable. This was a massive milestone for Huddly, a then little-known Norwegian start-up. One year on, our partnership with Google is going from strength to strength. Here’s to many great years to come!
We strengthened our valued partner relationships
We joined our technology partners Zoom at their annual user conference Zoomtopia, where we showcased Huddly IQ as well as our partnership with Crestron and their new Flex UC range of collaboration solutions. We also got to talk AI in the workplace, which is right in our wheelhouse and you can look forward to hearing more about that next year.
Our pioneering first product, the compact, wide-angle Huddly GO camera, was certified for use with the Lifesize Dash software-based collaboration solution.
For the third consecutive time, and for the first time as partners, we participated in the NEC Showcase. The event has earned a reputation for innovative experiences, and we were able to demo our own innovative camera Huddly GO camera as part of NEC’s collaboration solutions, namely their InfinityBoard and a brand-new huddle room all-in-one solution which will be launched in 2019.
We also attended Enterprise Connect where we met with our strategic partners, our channel partners and end customers.
We took InfoComm by storm
2018 was Huddly’s first time exhibiting at InfoComm, North America’s largest trade show for AV. And what a great success it was! As well as a showcase of all our partner solutions, attendees got an exclusive peek at the technology that was to become Huddly IQ, which got a tremendous reception, as evidenced by the fact that Huddly’s gigantic (and beautiful!) booth was packed throughout the event.
We continued to grow and evolve as a company
In my first full year as CEO of Huddly, I made it my mission to complete the team and make sure that the company had all the resources it needed to achieve our ambitious goals. In 2018, Huddly grew from 33 to 60 full-time employees – an 82% increase in our workforce. Lars Rønning joined us as CCO, Paul Clarke as COO, Øystein Drageset became our CFO, and Co-Founder Stein Ove Eriksen took on the role of CTO.
The R&D department grew from 18 to 31 employees. We also boosted the commercial team and expanded into new regions, such as the Nordics and Benelux, the Americas including the Chicago area, UK and Ireland, DACH and Poland, and invested in our channel relationships.
I have full confidence in the team and know that they will take us to new heights in the coming year and beyond.
We told our story in media around the world
To top it all off, 2018 was an excellent year for Huddly in the press. Among others, we were published in Forbes, Dagens Næringsliv, Finansavisen, Tech.EU, and AV Network. Huddly GO was shortlisted for the 2018 AV Awards collaboration product of the year and IQ was recently announced as a Technology Finalist in the 2019 InAVation Awards. (Do vote for us!)
None of what we do would be possible without you – our fantastic customers, investors, and partners. On behalf of myself and the whole team, I want to say thank you for your support in 2018. We look forward to working with you in 2019!