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TokBox Inc
Type of business Private
Type of site
Video Conferencing
Headquarters San Francisco, California, California
Owner Telefónica Digital a subsidiary of Telefónica
Founder(s) Serge Faguet
Ron Hose
Key people Scott Lomond, CEO
Badri Rajaseker, CTO
Melih Onvural, Director of Product Management
Michael Kelleher, Director of Business Analytics
Ian Small, Chairman of the Board
Alexa rank 58,996 (April 2014)[1]

TokBox is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) company that provides hosted infrastructure, APIs and tools required to deliver enterprise-grade WebRTC capabilities. It does so primarily through its proprietary OpenTok video platform for commercial application.[2]

TokBox was founded by entrepreneurs Serge Faguet and Ron Hose and was backed by Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital, DAG Ventures, and Youniversity Ventures. As of November 2010, TokBox had raised $26 million in series A and B and C funding.[2] Headquartered in the SOMA (South of Market) district in San Francisco, CA. TokBox was acquired by Telefónica Digital, a subsidiary of Telefónica, in October 2012.[3]

As of December 2013, TokBox has 55 employees spread over 7 offices worldwide.[2]



The OpenTok platform provides APIs, a global cloud infrastructure and pre-configured solutions to enterprises, entrepreneurs and developers.Originally launched as Adobe Flash-based platform in 2010, OpenTok became the first real-time communications platform to incorporate support for WebRTC in 2012. In mid-2013 TokBox launched Mantis, a cloud-based infrastructure enabling multi-party conversations on the OpenTok platform.[4]

Developers use the OpenTok platform to deploy WebRTC applications with 10x fewer lines of code than required through WebRTC off-the-shelf. OpenTok also supports multi-party calling, calls between browsers and iOS or Android devices, call archiving and playback, secure enterprise firewalls traversal and more.[5]

As of December, 2013, the OpenTok platform has more than 80,000 users who use it to power video communications from one-to-one chats to large-scale broadcasts.[6]


OpenTok Media Router[edit]

The OpenTok Media Router is a proprietary software component—built by TokBox—in the OpenTok WebRTC infrastructure. The OpenTok Media Router is responsible for routing, scaling and shaping WebRTC traffic via Intelligent Quality Controls, which consists of a family of quality enhancements including Audio-fallback and Dynamic Frame Rate Controls.

Audio-only Fallback: OpenTok shapes traffic in real-time by dynamically falls back to audio-only for streams with lower bandwidth, optimizing the experience for each participant in a multi-point conversation.[7]

Dynamic Frame Rate Control: This allows developers to allocate lower frame rates to video streams in real time based on application logic. Developers can decide where they want to allocate constrained bandwidth resources to optimize user experience.[8]

Recording and Archiving[edit]

Recording and Archiving: This enables developers to build applications that record and store OpenTok video sessions in the cloud, save the conversation into a single H.264/AAC MP4 file, and download or access the stream through the player of their choice.[8]

Signaling API[edit]

Application-level signaling for the WebRTC implementation of OpenTok across both Web and iOS platforms. Using the Signaling API developers can build text chat, send game moves, coordinate moving audience members on and off stage, broadcast your entire session, target a message at a specific connection and much more

Turn Over TCP[edit]

Turn Over TCP: This allows WebRTC applications to run in environments previously restricted by corporate firewalls.[8]

Developer Resources[edit]

Server SDKs[edit]

Server SDKs: OpenTok’s server SDKs wrap the OpenTok REST API, and let developers securely generate tokens for their OpenTok applications. Officially supported libraries include: Java and PHP. Community supported and created libraries include: Python, Ruby On Rails, .NET, Node.js, Perl, Golang.[9]

Client Libraries[edit]

Client Libraries: OpenTok's WebRTC client libraries enable video communications on a client platform. Officially supported libraries include: Javascript, iOS and Android. Community supported and created libraries include: PhoneGap and Titanium.[10]

Developer Outreach[edit]

TokBox has a long history of active engagement with the developer community. It has sponsored numerous hackathons since 2010 such as TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon,[11] API Hack Day[12] and Music Hack Day[13]

PennApps, one of the largest of such events, takes place on University of Pennsylvania campus every semester. Over a thousand students from around the world competed in the September, 2013 edition of PennApps. Four sophomore students from Carnegie Mellon University with no prior hackathon experience built Classity to showcase real-time lectures on the web and won the “Best Use of TokBox API” award.[14]

Business Model[edit]

TokBox announced its current pricing structure in August, 2013 to be effective Oct 1st, 2013. It is a pay-as-you-go model where users pay a $50 monthly fee after the free trial period that covers the first 10K minutes. Additional minutes are charged on a sliding scale with tiers at 90K, 400K, 1 million, 3.5 million. TokBox offers customized pricing for enterprises and businesses who use 5+ million minutes per month.[15]

In addition to usage fees, TokBox also offers Professional Services and Consulting starting at $200/hour. Weekly and monthly bundles are also available.


“Best In Show” award in November 2013 at the WebRTC Conferences & Expo in Santa Clara, CA.[16]

“Best WebRTC Tool”, June 2013 WebRTC Conferences & Expo, Atlanta, GA.[17]



August – Series A funding from Sequoia Capital[citation needed]
October – Launched[citation needed]
November – Launched multi-party chat and partnership with Meebo[citation needed]


April – TokBox Version 2 launched[citation needed]
July – Series B Funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Sequoia Capital[citation needed]
September – Launched the TokBox platform/ API[citation needed]


Added document collaboration tool—Etherpad (now owned by Google)[citation needed]


January rolled out its first set of paid features--$9.99 per month.[citation needed]
November announced the OpenTok API[citation needed]


February TokBox announced that as of April 5, 2011 they will be discontinuing the TokBox video chat and video conferencing service to focus solely on their API, OpenTok.[18]


TokBox was the subject of controversy when 50% of their engineering staff was fired in July 2009. This happened around the time TokBox changed CEOs. The VP of Marketing is stated as saying the firings were part of the CEOs new restructuring plan. None of the original founders are currently with TokBox.[19]


External links[edit]