My plans to chat with Brad Dupee about his startup were not going according to plan. Though he sent me a conference call dial-in, I got caught running late to make the call at my office desk, where I usually chat from. Flustered, I fumbled with the dial-in number from my smartphone and then botched my password twice before finally connecting.
Turns out, what I needed ironically was Dupee’s app called MobileDay. MobileDay, which is available for Android and iOS, offers a way to run all of your conference calls through one mobile app, allowing you to dial-in with almost no work. So instead of manually dialing into different conferencing systems and tapping out passcodes that sometimes hit a ridiculous 10 digits, MobileDay just alerts me to upcoming calls and then connects me with a couple of taps.
MobileDay works by scanning your calendar for conference call invites. It then matches those invites to the thousands of conferencing systems and their dial-in numbers in its database. When it comes time for your call, it notifies a user with a push notification. I just click to get into the app and then choose to join the call with one tap. MobileDay remembers all the dial-in information and enters it for me.
Last week, MobileDay added support for the Apple iPad, Skype audio and VoIP calls via Talkatone. It’s not just for audio calls. MobileDay can also connect users into Facetime Wi-Fi calls, Google+ Hangouts and into GoToMeeting and WebEx via native applications.
MobileDay also works well for people hosting conference calls. It recognizes when a user sets up a call and only requires them to enter in their host dial-in information once. Users can also message meeting attendees via email or text easily or send canned messages about running late. There’s also one button to rejoin a dropped call.
MobileDay feels like it could be a great addition to a mobile operating system. I would love to see this automatically turned on so I don’t have to scramble for dial-in information. Conference calling is still a headache for me, even when I get it on my calendar.
But Dupee sees an opportunity for MobileDay to be more than just an OS feature. He said MobileDay can offer premium services to companies and users who want to connect the app to other services like Salesforce. There’s also a big opportunity to be deployed by enterprise customers, who can use MobileDay to save on conference calling expenses. Oftentimes, employees will dial into conference calls using an 800 number but they could be using a local number or Wi-Fi which is cheaper, something MobileDay could arrange automatically. MobileDay is talking to two big companies right now about different possible enterprise deployments. And it’s still mulling whether it wants to launch its own conferencing services rather than aggregating others.
Dupee didn’t set out to build another conferencing startup. He previously sold his company Copper Conferencing and then moved on to become VP of channel sales at Intercall, another online conferencing company. When he started with his next venture in Boulder, CO, the goal was to build a calendaring app called Skedul.me. He raised $1.5 million a year ago from Google Ventures, Foundry Group, Softbank, SoftTech VC, Box Group and DH Capital. But he and co-founder and CEO Jim Haid realized that the bigger opportunity was in going back to the conferencing market, only this time from a very mobile perspective.
“I had done conferencing for 12 years and I didn’t want to that again,” said Dupee. “But when we started to move to conferencing, it became clear there was an opportunity because of our knowledge of the space and the fact that no one’s innovating. And I was very intrigued by mobile. Regardless of what app I made, I knew I was going to do mobile.”