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Below is our recent interview with Reggie Yativ, Revenue & Operating Officer at Agora.io:
Q: Could you describe what your company does in your own words?
A: Agora.io is the leading voice, video and live broadcasting platform that delivers sub-second latency globally. We power real-time engagement features like voice calling, video chat, group chat and interactive live broadcasting for a wide range of applications and industry verticals, including social media, online dating, mobile gaming, e-commerce, broadcasting, telehealth, education, and many more.
Our proprietary software-define real-time network (SD-RTN™) utilizes dynamic routing to ensure extreme low latency and high-quality voice and video communications regardless of the user’s device, geographic location, or network conditions. Our SDKs were created with developers in mind, so they’re easy to integrate into existing applications, which means a company can quickly embed live voice and video chat directly into their apps with just a few lines of code.
Q: How did you get your idea or concept for Agora, Inc.?
A: Our founder and CEO Tony (Bin) Zhao has an extensive engineering background, having worked with some of the top tech companies in the world. Tony is a pioneer in the cloud communications industry, He was a founding engineer at WebEx Communications (acquired by Cisco), where he was responsible for building its first VoIP infrastructure, and served as CTO of YY.com, a very popular social media platform in China.
Tony saw the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices around the world and realized the growing need for a mobile-focused communications solution for developers, so he founded Agora in 2014. With Agora, Tony set out to disrupt the real-time voice, video and live broadcasting space with cutting-edge solutions that transform the way people and businesses communicate and engage with each other.
Q: Congrats on raising $70M! Could you tell us more about your recent funding round?
A: We are very grateful to have a partner like Coatue Management, one of the leading technology investment firms that also invested in industry leaders like Uber, SnapChat, Box.com, Lime, DoorDash, and others. We couldn’t ask for better partners who share our ideas and plans for the future. With the new funding, we’ll continue to grow our team with the best talent we can find and expand our services to new markets and industries worldwide.
Q: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
A: I’ve been in the technology industry in a management role for more than 17 years now, most recently as the Vice President of Sales at Redis Labs, a world-leading NoSQL database technology company. I’ve led teams to dramatic growth and helped bring talent into the organization. In my experience, young professionals who are just starting out need to believe in the power of teamwork and bring a “yes” and “can-do” attitude to every role and task they’re given.
I would also encourage young people to not get discouraged by their first failure. Every day we see the “highlight” reel of startups that raised millions of dollars or scored big partnerships, but we don’t see their struggles or what led them to where there are today. Remember that everything worthwhile takes work. Don’t let a “no” or doubt keep you from focusing on what you know you can accomplish.
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Q: What are your plans for the following year?
A: 2018 has been an explosive year for Agora. We recently passed 2 billion installs for our real-time voice and video SDKs, making us the most widely-adopted RTC-based developer solution in the world. Our developer community has grown significantly with more developers using Agora’s SDKs in their applications and platforms, and we’re processing an average of 10 billion minutes of live communications every month. We also gained significant market share with the release of some of our latest products, including our React Native SDK.
As we enter 2019, we’re continuing our mission to disrupt the communications space with a continued focus on real-time user engagement. More individuals and businesses are discovering the power of live voice and video, and we’ll be ready to provide solutions that are not only changing the way we think about communication but changing the way we work and live every day.