Israeli startup Rounds, which offers users a live social platform that combines live communication and social activities and hopes to take down WhatsApp, has just raised $12 million in a series B round of funding led By Sequoia Capital and Accompanied By Samsung Ventures. The company says that the funds will accelerate growth and allow it to further establish itself as a leader in the next generation of video chat communication.
Verizon Ventures, Rhodium, DFJ’s Tim Draper and additional private investors also took part in the funding round.
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Rounds boasts that its instant group video chat offers a fun, easy and instantaneous means for communicating and connecting with friends. Within Rounds’ mobile app, users enjoy interactive conversations with friends and family where they can play games, watch videos, share photos, and much more, while video chatting together. Up to 12 people can chat together on Rounds at the same time.
It has 25 million users worldwide.
“Rounds’ unique approach and increased engagement was different than any other video chat experience we’ve seen and is what triggered our belief in the company spearheading a new type of video chatting experience, one where instant conversations, fun content and pure entertainment lead the way, “ said Shmil Levy, partner at Sequoia Capital Israel. “As a firm we’ve been active in the mobile messaging space, watching the evolution of communication very closely.”
”We invest in companies that are paving the way for their respective industries, and Rounds has quickly established itself as a pioneer in the video communications and entertainment space, “said Hyuk-Jeen Suh, head of Samsung Ventures East Coast. “This investment is evidence of our belief in the need to bring interactive and engaging video chat to hundreds of millions of consumers who use consumer electronics devices every single day.”
“We’re taking the fundamental communication elements that connect people – sharing experiences and doing stuff together – to disrupt the video communication space. Whether it’s laughing about a video, reminiscing over photos, or singing along to a song, we’re bringing instantaneous group video chatting to everyday activities. It’s our “do things together” DNA that makes the difference.” said Dany Fishel, CEO and Co-founder of Rounds.
To date, Rounds has raised a total of $22 million in funding from industry leading investors, including Sequoia Capital, Samsung Ventures, Verizon Ventures, DFJ’s Tim Draper, Rhodium and other private investors.