Howie Young tells us how Tico launched Wondercall, an embedded and end-to-end video call API that empowers any enterprise/organization to get a built-in video call system in minutes.
Photo by Business Next Media
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Howie Young: Fortunately, we have been doing pretty well, thank you. As you might have heard in the news, COVID-19 is pretty under control in Taiwan so far, which gives us much time and opportunities to make reactions to help people and enterprises in other countries get through the disruptions.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Tico.
Howie Young: I started the company in 2017. Back in the time, our first product focused on building a new messaging system that can help everyone get messages at the best timing to resolve serious distraction issues from social networks. That is where Tico, the name of the company, came from. Tico means “Time Communication.” And now we have greater ambition for the company. We aim to build secure and human-centered communication services for as many as scenarios.
How does Tico innovate? How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Howie Young: Back in early 2020, when we saw the strong signal of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that soon lots of countries would be forced to lock down the borders and cities to avoid contact with the public. As an experienced messaging service builder that had been working on video call services for years, we immediately started working on a new tool that can help everyone build video connections with each other most easily, and that was Powercall, a video call platform that allows you to create/join a video call within 2 clicks on your browser.
When we launched Powercall in Feb 2020, the COVID-19 had spread globally and caused huge effects in many countries, especially in Southeast Europe. We got users from over 100 countries in 5 days after the product launched, which gave us more passion for building and offering more services for people and companies in such a difficult time.
Then, in the middle of 2020, after seeing the rapidly increasing demand of building video-call-related features in business for many enterprises, we made a big move again. In June 2020, we launched Wondercall, an embedded video call platform that helps enterprises to serve built-in video connections in their own business in seconds. By using Wondercall, every company can serve built-in video calls without redirecting users outside to 3rd-party services like Zoom or Google Meet or losing the traffic and traction in their business.
After the launch of Wondercall, we got our first enterprise client within 1 week, so we knew that we did make something that really met enterprises’ needs! Now we have clients in Taiwan, Japan, and Southeast Asia. More and more companies that are doing marketplace business or are working on digital transformation start using Wondercall to build video calls for matching users or making video business inquiries. We feel grateful that what we build really helps people and enterprises get through the pandemic disaster and move forward.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Howie Young: We haven’t faced too many challenges since our team worked fully remotely starting Day 1, so we are pretty much familiar with the way to work with each other purely online. Trello is one of the tools we used the most. And of course, we use our video call platform, Powercall, to make every virtual meeting with colleagues and clients.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Howie Young: Our competitors include video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or video call API suppliers like Twilio. However, unlike many other video call suppliers that just serve video call tools, we have been working on a scheduling system that works like Calendly but is also embeddable and works with our embedded video call system in any business. So, Wondercall really creates a wonderful experience for enterprises to implement a complete virtual connection service from scheduling meetings to hosting virtual activities.
Another magic juice we have is that we pretty much know how to design human-centred interfaces. According to statistics, 15% of users of Powercall are elders beyond 55+, which is the strongest evidence of the user-friendly designs we create.
We have a pretty solid plan for the expansion in Asia and Europe. But in brief, our aim and goal are to keep learning from the market feedback and provide our clients and users with better and more products to solve their problems.
Any final thoughts or sharing?
Howie Young: For companies that are facing financial issues but need our product badly, please do not hesitate to contact us and tell us what we can help you with. We would be willing to make special offers for edging cases as best as we can. Just shoot us emails at [email protected], and we will reply to you all as possible as we can.
Your website and link to a product demo?
Wondercall for Enterprises: https://tico.chat/wondercall
Powercall for everyone: https://tico.chat/powercall