Home-grown Glue VP aims to make inroads after incubation
Home-grown video-conferencing platformGlue Virtual Platform (Glue VP) is eyeing accelerated growth after signing a partnership deal with the Fourth Industrial Revolution Incubator (4IRI), an enabling platform for local tech SMEs.
The web-based start-up says it is looking to take on international players − such as Microsoft, Google, Zoom and Cisco − in SA’s video-conferencing market by offering a more affordable alternative for businesses and individuals.
The collaboration and communication platform enables teams, institutions and learners to efficiently work remotely. Its offerings include meeting management, polling for users, meeting scheduling, multi-user whiteboard and break-out rooms, which can be customised according to user preferences.
Launched in 2015, Glue VP is the brainchild of futurist and professor Richard Chinomona, who was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Chinomona holds a PhD and MBA, and is associate professor for the School of Business and Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Since the onset of the pandemic, video-conferencing software providers have reported a dramatic surge in demand for their work-from-home services, as the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in an urgent need for remote interactions across industries.
“We’re excited to have partnered with 4IRI, as after so many years of self-funded exploration and development, we now have an opportunity to further grow the capabilities and access of Glue VP. We are happy with the skills development support that we have received so far, and we are expecting to receive financial support soon,” says Chinomona.
“We have designed an easy-to-use conferencing service which can be streamlined to unlimited online destinations such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.”
An entity of the Department of Small Business Development, 4IRI supports tech entrepreneurs with digital solutions to help their businesses scale.
Glue VP currently has 1 480 registered users on its platform.
The offerings are available in a free format which has limited capabilities, while subscription packages are available in basic (R180 p/m), premium (R264 p/m) and customised packages based on specific needs.
The bootstrapped start-up has had a tough journey from inception, according to Chinomona.
“It has not been easy to put together the operational costs, financial resources for servers and infrastructure, and then also managing staff costs. Paying for our continuous innovation and development initiatives are some of the hurdles we have had to face as a business.”
Discussing safety, Chinomona points out the platform is fitted and secured with end-to-end encryption, to protect users from third-party infiltration.
“Glue VP prioritises the safety of its users through end-to-end encrypting of all data shared, including from sign-up to set-up sessions. We also ensure all members of the platform have access to data retrieval. In our almost seven years of operation, we have not had any security issues or data leaks reported, as our local engineers are continually upgrading the systems and improving safety to ensure limited risk of cyber attacks.”
The start-up says it is also looking to grow its small team of employees.