Today, we are excited to unveil a new chapter in CoScreen’s journey. We have raised our (twice-extended) seed round from Unusual Ventures and a group of other great investors and are announcing our first public beta of CoScreen for Windows and macOS.
We’ve been working with John Vrionis and his team at Unusual Ventures for several months now, and we’re glad to be able to rely on their fantastic network of builders and operators for the hands-on support startups like ours need at the earliest stages. Their partnership has enabled us to turn our vision for CoScreen, a radically different approach to collaboration, into a quickly growing company.
We assembled a stellar team with decades of experience running complex engineering and developer-focused products at deep tech startups like Control4, Retool, Pitch, and HireVue to global enterprises like Google, Nestle, Airbnb, and SAP.
Making Remote Better Than in Person
In our conversations with more than 100 agile teams around the world during our stealth period, one message came through loud and clear: remote work is here to stay, even after the pandemic abates. However, many remote teams feel disconnected, distracted and fatigued by the synchronous chat and collaboration tools available today.
They are bored by staring into each other's faces and just to chat about tasks instead of getting them done together. Only one user can present at a time and the other team members can’t do much more than verbally guiding what the presenter should do. This hinders remote teams from solving complex bugs, urgent outages, or building game-changing new features. According to a report from The Information, Google's engineering teams reported record-high productivity pre-COVID. Three months into the shift to remote work, that number had dropped by 8% to just 31%.
We've felt those pain points ourselves—both as remote team members and as leaders working with globally distributed, agile and development teams at various enterprises and startups. Remote teams deserve a better way to get things done together. That’s why we have established a stellar team to get our radically different collaboration concept into the hands of teams like yours—whether you’re working for a small startup, a large enterprise or something in between.
In the words of remote work trailblazer and GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrani, CoScreen is making remote work even better than in-person collaboration.
Collaborate on All the Things
CoScreen is a desktop application that enables multiple users to share application windows simultaneously on a joint desktop. Think of it like a shared workspace where you can interact with your fellow team members’ shared windows as if they were your own using your mouse and keyboard. You can all share your windows, at the same time, side-by-side.
CoScreen enables collaborative software development and group work like no other solution and is built to work for small teams and students, as well as for large enterprises. It reduces the cost of context switching by up to 80% so you can focus on what matters—reviewing code, troubleshooting bugs, teaching each other, or building major new features.
How CoScreen Compares to Other Remote Tools
Other tools are optimized for formal presentations with hundreds of participants. CoScreen is optimized for teams with two to ten team members who need to get things done together through true multiplayer-collaboration. In addition, according to our benchmark CoScreen is 2-3x faster when interacting with shared content than other popular tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom (see chart below feature comparison).
Enabling Deep Collaboration
CoScreen enables a new mode of working together that we call “Deep Collaboration.” Credit where credit is due—our angel investor John Lilly, the former Mozilla CEO and investor in Dropbox and Figma, coined the term to describe what we do. It builds on Cal Newport’s Deep Work concept, Associate Professor in Computer Science at Georgetown University, and author of Deep Work: The Secret to Achieving Peak Productivity.
Newport describes the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task as such:
“To produce at your peak level, you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.”
Deep Collaboration takes this concept onto the team level. Teams work most productively when they adopt Deep Work for asynchronous workflows with easy or isolated tasks and Deep Collaboration for synchronous, complex matters. The latter can be solved best as a team if the team focuses intensively on removing any friction and distractions in getting on the same page.
Given that roughly half of all developers are on Windows and another quarter on macOS , we’re excited that already three out of four can experience Deep Collaboration with CoScreen starting today and Linux-support will follow next.
Use CoScreen For Free Starting Today
We’re excited to be able to make CoScreen publicly available for free today. Hundreds of teams worldwide have adopted an entirely new collaboration experience during our private beta phase already and now you can do it too.
This is the first cross-platform release of CoScreen for macOS and Windows, and we’re offering it to all agile teams around the world for free during the beta phase for the next three months. And this is just the beginning—a ton of features, performance and quality improvements are on the way. We can't wait to hear what you think.
In addition to built-in video chat and remote desktop control, we're also making our Slack app and a Google Calendar integration available today so that you can embed CoScreen into your daily workflow.
What the First CoScreen Users Are Saying
Joël Franusic, Principal Developer Advocate Python/Go at Okta
“I’ve been pushing the use of CoScreen as a replacement for Zoom in situations where I want to share a window with the people I’m working with. Using CoScreen is a much more natural experience. It feels like it should be built-in to every OS.”
Michaël Ohayon, Development Manager at Publicis Sapient:
“CoScreen makes coding, pairing, and video chatting as easy as a single click while keeping all our existing dev tools.”
Butch Anton, Solution Architect at SAP:
"CoScreen is great! It's the best collaboration tool I've used! The voice quality is excellent, the screen sharing is seamless, and the integration with Slack makes it super-easy to start a session with someone with whom you're chatting."
A Huge Thank You
On this special milestone, we’d also like to express our gratitude for the tireless support of our advisors and investors like the entire Unusual Ventures team, Tim Chen (Essence VC and founding engineer of Grid AI), John Lilly (early investor in Figma and Dropbox), Jason Warner (CTO of GitHub), Anthony Goldbloom (CEO of Kaggle), Chris Fong (Xoogler Fund), Andrea Funsten and Marco Casas (AVG Basecamp Fund), Jordan Wan (CoFound Partners), Elizabeth & Kevin Weil, Sri Pangulur (Overtime VC), Ellen Levy, Sanjay Shirole, Bernardo Albergaria, Haley Daiber, Oana Olteanu, Don Goodman-Wilson, our friends at MetaLab, my fearless skunkworks team at SAP, and our many other supporters and believers all the way from the original prototype until today.
Last but not least, a huge thank you to our passionate team and our courageous early users who have stuck with us from Day 1 and helped us bring a unique vision for agile teams to life.
Jason Thomas (CTO),
Max Andaker (CPO),
and Till Pieper (CEO)
Cofounders of CoScreen