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Techstory in interview with Karan Baweja, Co-founder, Cosmos Video

Karan Baweja, Co-founder, Cosmos Video

Karan Baweja, Co-founder, Cosmos Video

What is the inspiration behind Cosmos videos?

For most people, 2020 has been the year the world went online, where bedrooms became offices and family catch ups turned to zoom. When the pandemic hit, we were working in London, running product teams at two of London’s top consumer startups – Citymapper and TransferWise.

With entire companies working remotely, we noticed that the teams were increasingly missing the context of what others were working on. In the office, you’d overhear conversations among other teams, and jump in when you wanted, which meant always having a good idea of what the rest of the company was doing, and how your work fit in into the bigger picture.

Without the office, work had become an endless series of slack threads and zoom calls. In the office, it was easy to tap someone on their shoulder and ask them a question. This now required back and forth scheduling on slack, and then a video call. Spontaneous discussions and creative brainstorming had come to a halt.

We’d also started to miss our friends from the office. We were no longer going for coffee breaks, or having breakfast together. In the office, people at every level of the organisation could bump into each other all the time. These chance conversations helped build strong relationships and company culture. They also led to some of the most creative ideas at the company. We felt connected to our teams, and had a sense of belonging, and this had gone completely missing while working from home.

We needed a way to bring back the same speed and energy of working from an office, and teams feeling connected, and wanted to do this while our teams worked remotely.

While returning to the office was an option, there were too many benefits to working remote to dismiss it – companies can hire across the globe, and no leases result in huge cost savings. For employees, there are time and financial savings on commuting, and freedom to live outside the city centre.

We needed a way to replicate an office environment, and have all the benefits of an office, while being in the comfort of our homes. We started Cosmos.video to help teams get all the benefits of working in an office while being remote.

Cosmos office experience

Cosmos office experience

What is your vision for the company?

Our vision for the future is one where every remote company has a virtual HQ where they work, collaborate, socialise, and build relationships through casual interactions with their colleagues.

At the same time, we imagine co-working spaces popping up in local neighbourhoods, letting people switch up their work environments whenever they want a change, without the need to commute to city centres.

What differentiates Cosmos videos from other platforms?

We love talking to our customers building features that solve their problems.

Cosmos is the one of the few platforms which offers beautiful virtual spaces with reliable video chat that runs on a browser. We support multi-party screen, so several people can screen share at the same time. We’ve also built a number of integrations for our users to collaborate on whiteboards, notion or google docs, watch videos together on youtube or twitch, and play multiplayer games from our growing collection of 20+ games.

How does it improve the quality of work-life? Is there any change in the work ethic it brings to people who use it?

There is no change in work ethic – but crucially, teams can continue to work as if they were working in a real office. You still have all the benefits of working from an office, from the comfort of your home. Teams using Cosmos save 1-2 hours on commute every day, and can live in bigger places slightly outside of the city centre.

For teams that are already remote, Cosmos brings back the energy of working with others in the same space:

  • Walk up to people to ask a question without back and forth scheduling on Slack and Zoom
  • Bump into others to have a casual conversation
  • Overhear conversations around you and jump in to contribute

Ultimately building a stronger culture and sense of belonging within teams

How does it affect the psychology of people using it? Does it bring them the satisfaction of a real workplace?

Our customers tell us that it feels exactly like working together in a real office space. With it, people feel more engaged and connected with their teams, and have more context on what’s happening across the organisation.

Working remotely also means time and money saved on commuting, and the chance to spend more time with family and pursue hobbies.

Cosmos experience

Cosmos experience

What is the role of the company in a non-pandemic world?

The pandemic pushed all knowledge workers to work remotely for the last 18 months. We believe that a big proportion of these companies will continue to work remotely because it is just a better way to work and run a company.

For companies, being remote enables them to hire the best talent regardless of location, saves expenditure on real estate, and is good for the environment.

For employees, there is no commute so time and cost savings, cheaper housing, and more time with family.

We believe as Cosmos continues to improve the experience of working remotely, more companies will adopt us and go fully remote.

What are the company’s future plans? Is there any new product or expansion plan in the pipeline?

We plan to start generating revenue later this year, and expanding our team as our user base scales. Longer term, our hope is to disrupt the $32.9bn global commercial office market.(Source: Businesswire)

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