This homegrown Accel-backed startup is democratising access to live video infrastructure for companies
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an inevitable surge in digital video usage. Whether it was online education, work from home, or even fitness at home, digital video was the go-to platform in every way. The ban on short-form video TikTok also opened up opportunities for many startups to enter the short-video space.
Former Facebook and Disney-Hotstar executives, Kshitij Gupta, Aniket Behera, and Sarvesh Dwivedi, launched their startupin October 2020, with the aim of democratising access to live video infrastructure. The startup provides infrastructure that allows any company to add Zoom-style video conferencing within their app in just hours.
“This means creating an integrated video and audio solution in the app, which is not an easy task,” says Kshitij Gupta, CEO & Co-founder, 100ms.
How it started
“I have been in the video space almost all of my career. So, when short video apps became a new thing, many startup founders were reaching out to me to help them develop their platforms,” says Kshitij, who was earlier Vice-President of Engineering at Hotstar.
But it wasn’t just short videos, everything was happening online during the pandemic. From video conferences to educational classes, to family reunions. While helping a bunch of developers, Kshitij and his co-founders, Aniket and Sarvesh realised there was a big opportunity here.
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Both Aniket and Sarvesh worked as product managers and software developers at Hotstar. Run by 100ms Inc., the startup provides video-based API (Application Programming Interface) solutions to developers.
“For example, a doctor and patient meet on a particular app but when they have to do a video consultation, they move to Zoom, Google Meet or WhatsApp. What we do is collaborate with developers and create personalised video and audio solutions for the firms we work with,” says Kshitij.
These personalised solutions are based on the requirements of individual companies. For instance, if 100ms were to work with a media firm, they would not only create an in-house video interface but also provide a solution for calls to be recorded, transcribed, and even added to the user’s home page.
The startup’s clients include Paytm Insider, , , and Circle, and it is in the process of adding 25 more names to the list. 100ms also works with domestic communities, and a few international firms.
All this demand has pushed the founders to open offices in San Francisco and a few European cities. “We have started working on opening our San Francisco office. It should open up by next quarter,” says Kshitij.
Funding and the road ahead
The Bengaluru-based firm has so far raised $4.5 million from Accel, with participation from Strive VC as well.
According to the founders, the funds will be majorly used for product development, which Kshitij also describes as one of the biggest challenges while growing 100ms.
“Zoom and Google have set a benchmark in the video space. If someone is coming to us, then we obviously need to have better offerings and without the tech talent it is very hard to develop,” says Kshitij.
Although 100ms the firm was founded in October 2020, its live video infrastructure platform was only launched in August 2021 as the founders spent all this time working on developing the product.
Kshitij is also hoping to develop a solution for developers to enable them to create a video platform in seven to 10 days instead of the usual two to three months.
Currently, 100 ms competes with China-based Agora.ai, among other international players in this space.