LoopUp

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LoopUp Group
Formerly
Ring2
Public
Traded asLSELOOP
IndustryRemote Meetings, Collaboration, Software-as-a-service (SaaS)
Founded2003
Headquarters,
Key people
Steve Flavell (Co-founder & Co-CEO)
Michael Hughes (Co-founder & Co-CEO)
Lady Barbara Judge MBE (Non-Executive Chairman)
BrandsLoopUp, MeetingZone
WebsiteLoopUp.com

LoopUp is a London-based software company operating in the global conferencing services market. It's software-as-a-service (SaaS) audio and web conferencing product is predominantly used by businesses as a communication tool.

In 2016, LoopUp was floated on the Alternative Investment Market in an IPO that valued the business at £45 million. In 2018, they acquired MeetingZone, another audio conferencing provider.

History[edit]

LoopUp began in 2003 as Ring2.[1] It was founded by Steve Flavell and Michael Hughes, who met while studying at Stanford University. As two of eight UK students on their course, they connected and shared ideas, coming up with a concept for a digital communication network for businesses. They teamed up after university and founded Ring2 in 2003.[2]

Initially, LoopUp was funded by a group of around 60 angel investors, including friends and former colleagues of the founders, and Adara Venture Partners, a Spanish venture capital company.[2]

In 2007, Ring2 raised a further round of funding to grow the business more rapidly by hiring experienced sales staff. According to an interview with Flavell, Ring2 hired 25 people following this round of funding. Since then, growth has been driven largely by recruiting graduates that are trained internally, which has delivered consistent and efficient growth for the business.[2]

In September 2007 Ring2 announced the launch of its conference call control service on Windows Mobile 5 and 6-powered devices, expanding its mobile services from BlackBerry platforms to WinMob-powered cellphones and PDAs.[3]

In December 2010, Ring2 was selected by BT to provide conference calling solutions to its customers under the BT MeetMe brand, including BT MeetMe Mobile Controller, BT MeetMe Desktop Controller, and BT MeetMe Add-in for Outlook. In 2012, Ring2 changed its name to LoopUp and added support for remote meetings as well as conference calls.[4]

In March 2013, LoopUp announced a partnership with LIME to distribute it its product as part of a managed service agreement to business customers in 14 countries across the Caribbean.[5] In September 2015, LoopUp opened their sixth office in New York to access the large number of professional services firms headquartered in the city.

In August 2016, LoopUp was floated on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.[6][7] LoopUp's IPO was the first tech flotation in London after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.[8][9] Flavell stated in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that the Brexit vote hadn't put them off the idea of an IPO and that it was a necessary step to raise funds to expand the business further. The IPO had a value of £45 million. Both Flavell and Hughes retained a stake in LoopUp.[10][11] Lady Barbara Judge was announced as chair of LoopUp's board following the company's IPO.

LoopUp announced in 2016 that they would be floating the startup on the Alternative Investment Market. LoopUp's IPO was the first tech flotation in London after the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Flavell stated in an interview with The Telegraph that the Brexit process hadn't put them off the idea of an IPO and felt it was a necessary step to raise funds to expand the business further. The IPO had a value of £40 million. Both Steve Flavell and Michael Hughes as co-founders continued to own a minority stake in LoopUp.[12]

Later in 2016, Hughes received an MBE for services to British graduates in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. This was in recognition of his role in founding LoopUp, and also the Silicon Valley Internship Programme, an organisation that arranges internships for British engineering graduates at Silicon Valley-based tech firms.[13] Lady Barbara Judge was announced as chair of LoopUp's board following the company's IPO.

At the end of 2016, LoopUp’s turnover was £12.8m, up 39% from 2015, and shares rose 13% in a single day following the performance announcement in early 2017.[14] In May 2018, LoopUp commercially launched into the Australian market with the opening of an office in Sydney.[15]

In June 2018, LoopUp announced they had acquired British-based conferencing company MeetingZone.[16][17] The deal was a reverse takeover, valued at £61 million.[18]

Product[edit]

LoopUp claims to solve a problem that business people have struggled with for years: painful conference calls. It does this by using ‘dial-out’ functionality, which allows users to join a conference call by clicking a link, rather than dialing in with phone numbers and access codes.[19] Users are guided to a webpage where they can see who’s on their call and who’s speaking. With one click, they can share their screen, transforming an audio call into a visual collaboration session. This ‘dial-out’ method is said to avoid a number of issues, such as delays in starting meetings, security risks caused by not knowing who is on a call.[20][21][22][23][24]

In an interview with CNBC, Flavell stated that while there are a lot of large companies in the conferencing services space, none have been successful in helping large numbers of users move away from dialing in. He attributes this to the way that people typically learn how to use new software – by trial and error – which is not appropriate when you are in the hotseat hosting a remote meeting.[15] He has also spoken about the frustrations of dialling into the meeting and disrupting conversations, which he hoped LoopUp could solve.[25]

Reception[edit]

According to a CNBC interview in 2017, the dial-out functionality developed by LoopUp improves the “stressful experience of legacy audio conferencing … helping more mainstream business people to feel comfortable adopting richer online collaboration capabilities.”

In 2017, UCToday wrote “LoopUp is emerging as an unexpected challenger in the crowded conference calling market dominated by big software vendors who put features first and have bet heavily on video... LoopUp’s focus on user experience – from creating an invite to joining and managing a meeting, to screen sharing – makes each step of the conference calling process straight-forward and intuitive – words we don’t often associate with vendors in this space… Its business practices also emphasise user experience: customer support is knowledgeable, informed and quick; pricing and invoicing are clear and consultative.”[26]

Market[edit]

According to Frost & Sullivan, the global conferencing services market is expected to grow gradually and reach $11 billion by 2023, due to technology convergence and accelerated usage of conferencing via cloud web and video, mobility and rich analytics.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davies, Emily (August 8, 2016). "£45m float for LoopUp, the British conference calling start-up taking on Silicon Valley". This Is Money.
  2. ^ a b c Dunsby, Megan (June 14, 2017). "The Entrepreneur: Steve Flavell, LoopUp". Startups magazine.
  3. ^ Shaw, Russell. "Ring2 conference call service now on Windows Mobile devices". ZDNet.
  4. ^ "First Take: LoopUp". ZDNet. June 5, 2012.
  5. ^ "First Take: LoopUp". Jamaica Observer. June 5, 2012.
  6. ^ Braude, Jonathan (August 24, 2016). "LoopUp Dials Up First Tech IPO Since Brexit". TheStreet.com.
  7. ^ Barber, Lynsey (August 8, 2016). "This London tech startup is planning to list on AIM". City A.M.
  8. ^ Turvill, William (August 24, 2016). "Shoreditch tech startup LoopUp to float on London Stock Exchange junior market today". City A.M.
  9. ^ Shead, Sam (August 8, 2016). "A Shoreditch software startup that makes conference calls less painful is planning to IPO". Business Insider.
  10. ^ Armstrong, Ashley (August 24, 2016). "LoopUp dials up £40m IPO". The Telegraph.
  11. ^ Harrington, John (February 12, 2018). "LoopUp shares soar over technology firm's audio conferencing product". This Is Money.
  12. ^ "The Coolest people in Tech". Business Insider.
  13. ^ Cook, James (December 30, 2016). "Here are all the UK tech figures named in the Queen's New Year's Honours list". Business Insider.
  14. ^ Barber, Lynsey (January 18, 2017). "Fresh from an IPO, UK tech firm LoopUp had a superb 2016 sending shares soaring". City A.M.
  15. ^ "LoopUp Open new Sydney office". Shares Magazine.
  16. ^ Shapland, Mark (May 16, 2018). "Small-Cap Spotlight: Ceres Power and Loopup climbing high in a busy session among the tiddlers". Evening Standard.
  17. ^ Stephens, Peter (September 26, 2018). "Forget the State Pension, this bargain FTSE 100 share could boost your retirement savings". Motley Fool.
  18. ^ "LoopUp Group Completes "Transformational" Takeover Of MeetingZone". Morning Star[[{{subst:DATE}}|{{subst:DATE}}]] [disambiguation needed]. June 5, 2018. External link in |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ Marks, Gene (December 7, 2017). "My Experience and a New Study Agree: Bungled Conference Calls Cost Businesses Big Money". Entrepreneur (magazine).
  20. ^ "LoopUp playing in 'different playing ground' to tech giants: CEO". CNBC. September 6, 2017.
  21. ^ "Interview with LoopUp Founders". The Telegraph. September 10, 2015.
  22. ^ Brown, Eileen (March 14, 2018). "How much time do we waste on conference calls?". ZDNet.
  23. ^ Allen, Tom (November 29, 2017). "Wasting time on conference calls costs the UK more than £26 billion every year". Computing (magazine).
  24. ^ Vigliarolo, Brandon (November 29, 2017). "Report: Inefficient, outdated conference call platforms waste businesses $34 billion a year". TechRepublic.
  25. ^ Fedor, Lauren (August 8, 2016). "LoopUp dials in for London IPO". Financial Times.
  26. ^ Taylor, Ian. "LoopUp Review – The Remote Meetings Solution Focused on User Experience". UC Today.
  27. ^ "Global User Demand for Cloud Web and Video Conferencing Services Leads Industry Growth". Frost & Sullivan.