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Two iRobot Vets Have Raised $5M for Their Video Conferencing Startup, Owl Labs

August 18, 2016 | Telepresence Options

owl_labs_videoconferencing.png

Story and images by Dylan Martin / Bostinno

Antonio Rodriguez, an early culus investor andO ers, is involvedpartner at Matrix Partn

This is a First Look: It's the first time any news outlet or blog has covered this startup. You can read more First Looks here. (We do this a lot.)

Two iRobot veterans, including the company's former lead roboticist, just disclosed that they have raised $5 million of a planned $6 million round for a video conferencing technology startup based in Somerville that says it's about to launch its first product. Antonio Rodriguez, general partner at Matrix Partners and an early investor in Oculus, is an investor, alongside iRobot's VC arm, iRobot Ventures.

Owl Labs, which was founded by Max Makeev and Mark Schnittman in 2014, filed a Form D for the round on Wednesday, showing that it's looking to raise a total of $6 million. The round's first date of sale was Aug. 4, and the filing lists Makeev and Schnittman as executive officers and Rodriguez as a director. A job listing confirms Matrix Partners, iRobot Ventures and Android co-founder Andy Rubin's West Coast accelerator, Playground Global, are investors in Owl Labs.

A website for Owl Labs describes its video conferencing product, called Owl, as "the first plug-and-play smart video camera that automatically focuses on the speakers in order to provide an immersive telepresence experience." It "works seamlessly with Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting and other widely used video conferencing software," the website adds, noting that it aims to provide a hassle-free setup that doesn't require dedicated meeting rooms.

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