Featured Startup Pitch: Led by brothers with deep entrepreneurial experience, Tely Labs wants to make secure, reliable, and affordable videoconferencing a reality for businesses of all sizes
Headquarters: Redwood City, California
Year Founded: 2010
Founders: Sreekanth Ravi and Sudhakar Ravi
Brief Company Description: Founded in 2010, Tely Labs is a pioneer in simple, secure and affordable video communication and collaboration systems that fundamentally change the way people communicate. Tely Labs is dedicated to bringing videoconferencing to every meeting room, remote office, and healthcare facility—simply, securely, and affordably.
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My brother Sudhakar and I have something of a history of creating and building businesses, including network security company SonicWALL (now part of Dell), where we led the company through a successful IPO in 1999, and Code Green Networks, a leader in the field of corporate data-loss prevention. We founded our latest venture, Tely Labs, in 2010.
The company’s origins stem from our personal experience. When our parents moved back from Silicon Valley to India, Sudhakar and I tried to stay in touch using Skype video, but found the experience to be less than satisfactory. After experimenting with bandwidth, device types, and other variables to improve the experience, we found that the addition of processing capacity was a key factor.
That led to the development of the telyHD video calling system, an all-in-one device with built-in microphones, HD camera, and Skype. Launched in early-2012, the telyHD was originally targeted at individual users, and sold in the tens-of-thousands through big box and online distribution channels. In 2012, the company received venture funding from Comcast Ventures and Rogers Venture Partners, and turned its sights towards the business market.
A Massive Market Opportunity
We quickly found that the product was being snapped up not just by consumers, but also by businesses of all types and sizes. This is because there is a massive void in the videoconferencing market between the cost and complexity of traditional business-class video collaboration products and consumer-grade, one-to-one offerings.
There are an estimated 20 million secondary conference rooms, huddle rooms and countless more remote locations that have been priced out of the productivity benefits of videoconferencing. And even in organizations with high-end systems in place, the investment needed to extend video collaboration beyond the boardroom has been prohibitive. There is enormous pent-up demand for videoconferencing systems that combine standards-based functionality with ease-of-use and accessible pricing.
We therefore re-engineered the telyHD platform as a totally new concept in business videoconferencing for this underserved market. Our sweet spot is the smaller meeting room, connecting up to six different locations.
For enterprise customers, we support the industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), enabling complete interoperability with other vendors’ systems. For businesses not wishing to invest in their own video infrastructure, we provide a Cloud service that provides many of the features normally only available with a heavy investment in video networking equipment. And for business users wishing to connect to a wide variety of telepresence systems and video enabled mobile devices, we offer support for Blue Jeans Network’s Cloud-based videoconferencing services.
Today, we are unique in the market in providing high-definition video quality, standards-based interoperability, and functionality at a breakthrough price point of $649 per system, with no extra equipment or infrastructure costs, unlike other similarly-targeted offerings. Our vision is to allow more people in more businesses to realize the benefits of videoconferencing, including increased productivity and reduced travel time and costs.
We introduced the business offering in November, 2012, and have continually added new features for the business market. In February we launched a specialized healthcare version, the telyMed, designed to address the security and cost management requirements of healthcare providers. In May, we introduced the telyMed MTS-100 Mobile Station, an integrated telemedicine workstation for use at the point of care in hospitals and clinics.
All our offerings are unique in the market in combining security with ease-of-use and ultra-affordability, and for these reasons Tely Labs has won numerous industry accolades, including being named a ‘Cool Vendor’ by Gartner in May this year, and highlighted as a Hot Tech Startup by CRN Magazine.
Based on our success in building the SonicWALL business through a dedicated reseller channel, I am once again turning to systems integrators to reach our target business and healthcare audiences. The telyHD business products are available only through authorized resellers. We have signed a number of specialized videoconferencing channel partners, and are very pleased to have brought unified communications (UC) expert PicturePhone on board as a distributor.
Our resellers are either specialist enterprise UC providers looking to extend their engagements with existing customers, or IT service providers to the small-and-mid-size business market who are now able to add videoconferencing to their product line up. Ours is an attractive channel offering not only because of the ease of installation, support, and use, coupled with attractive pricing, but also because of the subscription-based pricing that offers a highly profitable recurring revenue stream.
Our go-to-market model also includes a robust trade show schedule, coupled with an aggressive analyst and public relations program and a growing online and social media presence. As our channel grows, we will continue to support our resellers with targeted marketing campaigns (consumers can still buy the personal version of the telyHD through e-tailers such as Amazon.com).
Tely Labs is moving at a rapid pace while remaining tightly focused on expanding our technology offerings, forming new business partnerships (such as Blue Jeans Network), and growing our reseller channel. Supporting our enterprise goals, we were very pleased to bring videoconferencing industry veteran David Moss on board this year as SVP of sales and business development, and our plans include growing our engineering, channel marketing, and support resources. With a steady flow of revenue and a healthy level of existing investment, I believe we are well placed to meet our goals for the current year and beyond.
The opportunity for Tely Labs is huge. While IDC’s Q1 report for 2013 painted a rather gloomy picture, the research firm points out that video adoption is now being driven by interest in integrating video into standards-based Unified Communications products and processes, as well as the increasing use of video collaboration for small workgroups. That’s exactly where we are focused. So, we believe that Tely Labs has the potential not just to grow, but to galvanize this market.
Tely Labs – www.tely.com