If you're a frequent TechCrunch reader, you probably already know about mmhmm, the startup with the name you likely either love or hate. It's Phil Libin's second act after Evernote, and it's a startup born of the pandemic maybe more so than any other, providing improved video chat tools, including automatic background removal and advanced presentation features. The company, which is just over a year old, has now raised a total of around $140 million thanks to a fresh injection of $100 million first reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday, which is somewhat astounding if you remember using the first early beta versions like me.
Startups with silly names raising lots of money is hardly an exceptional occurrence in tech, but Libin's startup earns extra credit for barely having a name at all (it's really just a sound).
The company was built on the idea that current video tools really fail to provide users with access to all the potential that modern technology offers, particularly when it comes to presentations. Mmhmm's core presenter tools help your meetings look more like professional newscasts than warmed-over digital versions of transparency slideshows and whiteboard scrawls, and the company has steadily been adding features and improving its performance through frequent iterations since its founding.
As it stands, mmhmm works in tandem with the existing video services that people use for virtual meetings, including Zoom. But Bloomberg says it's going to go standalone as well, and introduce a mobile app version. That sounds like a good use of the new funds, which come from SoftBank's Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital and more.
Even projecting forward to a post-pandemic world where virtual meetings are less important, they're probably still a permanent part of the working world. But mmhmm's feature set also seems to almost define the concept of 'feature, not product' that is presented as a cautionary tale to startups crafting wings of wax and soaring as high as they can in terms of raises and valuation.