I keep reading and hearing how venture capital is hard to come by these days, in digital signage and well beyond, but one Boston-based company has scored a $7 million investment to drive its business in digital meeting room signs.
Yup, that boring little killer application that sells itself as soon as people see it.
On the company blog, CEO Sam Dunn writes:
At the beginning of 2014, we took our entire team from the agency we started previously, and set out to build a new company that tackled one idea: Companies tend to have limited data on how their workforce uses their workplace. Scheduling the most basic office resources is an unrefined art form for many companies, often breaking down into an “I was here first” free-for-all in conference rooms. And that doesn’t help people get work done.
There is a disparity between how we expect home technology and office convenience to work, but why should it? We tend to tolerate more at work because we’re paid to be there, but offices should be a whole lot smarter, and help the people that are using them every day.
And that’s how Robin came to be.
Dunn says his company’s meeting room solution is being used in “thousands and thousands of conference rooms for folks like DraftKings, Netflix, Sonos, Blue Apron, and many more.”
Makes perfect sense to me. I started a separate micro-site – Meeting Room Signs – because I was seeing so much interest, and there are almost 40 companies listed in there, including Robin. There are that many because just as in broader digital signage applications, it’s just not that hard to develop functionality to query calendar systems and display that data.
It’s harder, though, to get fully integrated into office operations, and a handful of companies like Robin have really gone after that. In Robin’s case, the platform will do things like generate analytics based on actual meeting room usage (do we need more rooms? fewer?) and use beacons to detect presence, freeing up room availability dynamically if everyone in the meeting clears out early.
As I have written a few times, I like digital meeting room signs. There’s no selling the digital signage dream with this stuff. Decision-makers instantly “get” the value.