Dimdim Delivers Web Conferencing for All
The company's far-flung founders tackled their info-sharing issues by creating a powerful, open-source conferencing solution.
Dimdim is about simplicity. From its name to its web conferencing software, the company strives for ease of use. "We want to democratize real-time, rich media collaboration," says CEO DD Ganguly, who chose the name Dimdim not because of any relation to his first name, but because it's memorable, easy to spell and has international appeal.
Though officially based in Boston, Dimdim's founders and board members live all over the world. Ganguly travels the most, splitting his time mainly between India, Boston and San Francisco, while co-founders Prakash Khot and Jayant Pandit live in Boston and Ottawa, Canada, respectively.
The co-founders got the idea for Dimdim while brainstorming startup ideas from their far-flung locations. They were using Hotmail and Skype to communicate, but they needed more. They researched the web conferencing space, but were unhappy with expensive and complex legacy products and frustrated by the lightweight free ones--so they decided to build their own.
They had already created a successful startup together--a company called Advanced Internet Management, which helped stabilize e-commerce sites and was acquired by Computer Associates in 2001. When they started Dimdim, all their initial employees came from the close-knit AIM team.
With $500,000 out of pocket, the team launched Dimdim in 2006, offering free, browser-based web conferencing for up to 20 people. Users can share presentations, websites, videos, chat sessions and more on the open-source platform without having to download any software. If they want to share their screens, there's a small download.
There's also a call-in number for those not using VoIP, and you can record the meeting for reference or sharing. For web conferencing with larger groups, there are paid Pro and Enterprise versions of the application. Users also pay a licensing fee to become partners and can customize Dimdim to their current systems. Dimdim has also opened up its API and invites developers to create new integrations for the product. Dimdim now integrates with CRM software that manages web conference contacts, as well as e-learning programs that present their lessons over Dimdim.
Since 2007, Dimdim has received two rounds of funding totaling $8.4 million. To date, 1.7 million people have signed on to its web conferences, and Dimdim hopes to bring in $5 million in 2009.
The company also continues to reap the benefits of its product internally when connecting its worldwide partners and employees. "We eat our own dog food," Ganguly says. "By using Dimdim for board meetings, I calculated that we've saved about $250,000 in travel costs this year."