Video conferencing start-up StarLeaf clinches £31m

Cambridge-based company will ramp up growth as it looks to meet demand in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia

StarLeaf, a video conferencing start-up, has secured £31m in investment from Highland Capital Europe and Grafton Capital.

Founded in 2008 by William MacDonald, Mark Loney and Mark Richer, Cambridge-based StarLeaf provides high definition video conferencing and video endpoints for meeting rooms, desktops and mobile, enabling its clients to deliver business-wide video connectivity.

Guests can be added onto any call even if they don’t have a video endpoint, ensuring easy collaboration with colleagues.

StarLeaf claims to be able to interoperate with every third-party technology on the market and its global network of channel partners, including Cisco, Polycom, Life-size, Skype for Business, currently sell into 50 countries around the world.

The company said that in the last two years it has signed up 150 new clients with 1,000 employees or more during 2016, compared to just 65 in 2015. It has doubled its own employee count to 130 in the last 18 months and is expecting to double it again.

The new funds will fuel StarLeaf’s growth as it looks to meet demand in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the “rapidly growing” Asia Pacific region.

Mark Loney, StarLeaf’s CEO, said: “Enterprises are shifting towards video as it is a much better means of communication than a voice call or conference. However, businesses often have a variety of legacy systems making it difficult to connect with customers and suppliers who may have different systems.

“Our cloud service solves these issues, while taking away the pain of running your own back-end systems. This new funding will take us through our investment phase and give us the working capital we need to reach our potential in markets around the world.”

Laurence Garrett, partner at Highland Europe, added: “I am so thrilled to be investing in StarLeaf today as I have followed Richer and the team for 12 years and have been a StarLeaf customer since 2013.

“StarLeaf has built its solution from the ground up which gives it a real advantage in ease of use and quality. It offers real interoperability between different vendors which is unique in this market place and is delivering really high quality calls and a brilliant level of service.”

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