Loom and the rise of asynchronous video

Video startup Loom is worth $1.5B and -- with 14m users already -- wants to be “email on camera.”

Of all the Zoom stories that have gone viral, the student who put a selfie background so he could skip class ranks right up there.

He was definitely on to something, though. Not every remote video call has to be synchronous, with all viewers attending at the same time.

One startup has reached unicorn status…

… making asynchronous video the norm: Loom, a platform used to quickly record videos for work. According to Protocol, the company was founded in 2015 by Joe Thomas, Vinay Hiremath, and Shahed Khan and has since:

  • Onboarded 14m+ users
  • Raised $160m at a $1.53B valuation
  • Hosted 100m+ “looms” (AKA video recordings)

The office communication landscape…

… traditionally falls into 3 buckets, per Protocol:

  • Synchronous video (Zoom and FaceTime)
  • Synchronous text (Slack and Teams)
  • Asynchronous text (email)

While Loom faces competition in the asynchronous video space — from Slack, Dropbox, and Cisco — it leads in mindshare. To grow even more, it’s wooing developers to build on its platform via the loomSDK.

What separates Loom?

The video startup is best known for the “Loom bubble,” which captures a speaker in a small circle while the person explains a screenshare.

However, the real secret sauce is speed: Loom patented a method of “instantaneous asynchronous media sharing” that quickly sends a recording to the cloud to be shared and watched by others (at up to 2x speed).

Loom ultimately wants to be “email on camera.” We suspect the student with the selfie Zoom background likes the sound of that.

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