InSpace, a collaborative video conferencing platform that replicates personal interaction between students and teachers in virtual classrooms, today announced that the company has closed on $6 million in two rounds of seed funding. The funding is led by a $2.6 million investment from venture capital firm Boston Seed Capital and $1.5 million each from Gutbrain Ventures and PBJ Capital, in addition to other investors. The seed funding will expand educator support to keep pace with rapid growth and establish a resource network for users to share ideas and successes. Other improvements include streamlined registration and payment.
Dr. Narine Hall, data science assistant professor and academic program director at Champlain College, and leading software and video engineer Haykanush Lputyan, launched InSpace in 2020, sparked by frustrations with how existing virtual meeting platforms limited student-teacher interactions. Created by educators for educators, InSpace is used by thousands of professors in over 100 universities and K-12 schools worldwide. With a proudly bottom-up approach, InSpace crowdsources and implements features based on educator suggestions, tools, and solutions.
“This is the most exciting time to be in higher education, so much is changing,” said Hall, founder and chief executive officer. “Sometimes it takes a challenge to innovate. Our goal is to provide a uniquely collaborative online environment that complements, rather than disrupts, educators’ exceptional work.”
InSpace mirrors the fluid, personal, interactive nature of a real classroom. It allows participants to break free of static squares to create a fun, engaging environment that fosters collaboration. Each person is represented in a video circle that can freely move around the space. When people are next to each other, they can hear and engage in conversation, and as they move away, the audio fades, allowing for one-on-one and group conversations all in one space. As participants zoom out, they can see the entire space, which provides visual social cues. Participants can use Google docs, Miro board and other tools to collaborate without leaving InSpace.