Cloud Communications Company Agora Raises $70 Million To Accelerate Market Expansion
Cloud-based communication services have transformed the way we do business. The innumerable benefits of cloud technology are getting a lot of attention from startups and investors.
Voice, video and live broadcasting platform Agora.io, is the latest entrant to join this investment bandwagon. The cloud communications company announced that it has closed $70 million in a Series C round of funding led by Coatue Management, a technology sector hedge fund whose recent investments include Uber, SnapChat, Box.com, Lime, DoorDash, and more.
The round also saw participation from existing investors SIG, Morningside, and Shunwei Capital, bringing Agora’s total capital raised to $125 million.
Expanding Services To New Markets
Founded in 2014 by Tony Zhao, a founding engineer at WebEx Communications (acquired by Cisco) and former chief technology officer of Chinese social media giant YY.com, Agora is the leading provider of real-time communications (RTC) solutions for web and mobile applications.
The company, which has offices in Santa Clara and Shanghai, also recently announced a wave of seasoned leadership hires to fill key management roles across business, product and sales to support the growth. Agora will use the new capital to expand its solutions and services to new markets and industry verticals.
The Growth Journey
Agora’s suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) lets developers embed live voice, video and broadcasting functionality into existing applications and platforms with a few lines of code and no upfront costs. The Series C investment follows an explosive year for the company as it experiences rapid growth. Agora recently passed two billion SDK (software development kit ) installs to make it one of the most widely adopted RTC-based developer solutions globally. The company’s proprietary Software-Defined Real-Time Network processes and routes an average of 10 billion minutes of live communications every month through 200 globally distributed data centres for customers including The Meet Group, Xiaomi, Hike Messenger, Momo, and more.
“The Internet has steadily transformed the way people communicate over the last decade, but these interactions will continue to shift as technology advances at a rapid pace. We are creating a new category of real-time communications that puts engagement at the core of the user experience, and we will continue leveraging our unique technology and global reach to further transform the space,” says Tony Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Agora.
The New Era of App-based Communication
Accelerated by the proliferation of mobile devices and internet connectivity across the globe, Agora is aiming to power a new era of app-based communications with developer tools that unlock new layers of audience and user engagement through the use of real-time voice and video.
In addition to its flagship Voice & Video SDK, which powers voice and video calling, group conferencing and interactive broadcasting functionality, the company recently released products like AMG SDK, a standalone solution for game developers, and React Native SDK, an open source developer toolset that enables cross-platform building using the React Native framework.