UPDATED 12:26 EDT / FEBRUARY 03 2021

EMERGING TECH

Touchcast raises $55M to expand its mixed reality event platform

Virtual experience and events platform Touchcast Inc. today announced it has raised $55 million in an early-stage funding led by Accenture Ventures and others to scale up the company’s virtual events platform.

The Series A funding was led by Accenture Ventures and joined by Alexander Capital Ventures, Saatchi Invest and Ronald Lauder.

In a world increasingly where office workers are increasingly separated by the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work is becoming the norm, virtual events and the evolving concept of the home office are transforming the workplace.

Touchcast’s platform uses artificial intelligence and mixed reality to transform how enterprises communicate and collaborate by giving them new ways to allow those remote teams to participate even though they may be miles apart. Using the platform, event organizers can create virtual stages that look and feel like actual spaces with audiences sitting safely behind computer screens at keyboards in their own homes, able to ask questions and interact in real time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the need to reimagine the way we meet, connect and collaborate with each other,” said founder and Chief Executive Edo Segal. “Touchcast harnesses the power of AI and mixed-reality to deliver a virtual event platform that redefines how knowledge is created and shared across space and time, providing an unparalleled immersive and interactive experience.”

Touchcast’s platform not only enables real-time knowledge-sharing and collaboration including transcription and translation, allowing event attendees to capture, archive and dive into their collective knowledge. The platform is also designed to remove the barriers between language, time and distance in order to make communication actionable and discoverable.

Behind the scenes, AI works to provide translations, summarize key points and highlight what audience members might find interesting from an event. Touchcast events include real-time audience participation, which means that questions can be asked and answered and thus can be included in transcripts, thus creating a sort of complex interactivity.

According to a report from Grand View Research, the global market for virtual events is projected to reach more than $400 billion by 2027. Enterprise investment in infrastructure, services and technology such as AI is driving much of this growth.

Touchcast’s platform enables corporate teams, both small and large, to work seamlessly with already existing infrastructure such as Zoom, Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams. That means clients don’t need to invest in totally new communication technology outside of Touchcast and can use what they always did and use it alongside virtual environments and events.

Using Touchcast an office worker or would-be customer can be whisked away to a virtual stage and become a member of an audience for a keynote presentation, breakout session, or a one-on-one meeting. With Touchcast’s virtual events, businesses can safely socially distance remote workers, clients, customers and presenters for investor conferences, product launches, client summits, thought leadership conferences and awards summits, all in real time.

“Digital disruption, distributed workforces, and customer experience are the driving forces behind the need for companies to transform how they do business and move toward the future of work,” said Tom Lounibos, managing director of Accenture Ventures. “For organizations to harness the power of virtual experiences to deliver business impact, the pandemic has shown that quality interactions and insights are needed.”

Image: Touchcast

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