A new startup calledwants to make work communication more fun and personal by offering a way for users to record short video messages, or “pop,” that can be used for any number of purposes in place of longer emails, texts, Slack messages, or Zoom calls. While there are many other places to record short-form videos these days, most of these exist on , which isn’t appropriate for a work environment. Nor does it make sense to send a video you’ve recorded on your phone as an email attachment when you want to check in with a colleague or say hello.
On the other hand, Popcorn lets you create aand then send a URL to that video anywhere you want to add a personal touch to your message.
For example, you could use Popcorn in a business networking scenario where you’re trying to connect with someone in your industry for the first time — aka “cold outreach.” Instead of just blasting them a message on LinkedIn, you could also paste it into the Popcorn URL to introduce yourself in a more natural, friendly fashion. You could also use Popcorn with your team at work for things like daily check-ins,project, or greeting new hires, among other things.
Videos can be up to 60 seconds long — adesigned to keep Popcorn users from rambling. And you can increase the playback speed if you’re in a hurry. Users can also opt to record audio-only if they don’t want to appear on the video. Users who wish to receive “pops” could also advertise their “opcode” (e.g., try mine at U8696).
The idea to bring short-form video to the workplace comes from Popcorn co-founder and CEO, whose background is building consumer apps. One of his first apps to gain traction in 2014 was a , which allows users to connect around shared photos. A couple of years later, he co-founded a Clubhouse precursor. He co-founded , a consumer app development shop that launched more social apps like BFF (previously Wink) and Juju.
9 Count’s lead engineer,, is now a co-founder of Popcorn (or, rather, Snack Break, Inc., as the legal entity is called). They began their work on Popcorn in 2020, just after the start of the . But the rapid shift to in the following days could now help Popcorn gain traction among distributed teams. Today’s may never again return to in-person meetings at the office, but they’re also growing tired of long days stuck in Zoom meetings.
With Popcorn, the goal is to make work communication fun, personal, and bite-sized, Spraggins says. “[We want to] bring all the stuff we’re, which I think is important for us now,” he explains.
“You work with these people, but how do you — without scheduling a Zoom — bring the ‘human’ to it?” Spraggins says. “I’m excited about making work products feel more social, more like Snapchat than utility tools.”
A lot of Popcorn would still need to figure out to truly make a business-orientedwork, including adding enhanced security, limiting spam, offering some reporting flow for bad actors, and more. It will also eventually need to land on a .
Popcorn is aon iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Today, the app is pretty simple, but the company plans to enhance its short videos over time using AR frames that let users showcase their personalities. It offers a Slack integration so you can send directly to co-workers in the communication software you use to catch up and stay in touch. today
The startup raised a $400,000 pre-seed round from General Catalyst (and ( , previously editor-in-chief at TechCrunch.) Spraggins says the company will be looking to raise a seed round in the fall to help with hires, including in the AR space.