Sequoia leads $12 mln Series B funding in Rounds

Live communication platform Rounds has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital led the round with participation from other investors that included Samsung Ventures, Verizon Ventures, Rhodium and Draper Associates. According to the firm, the capital infusion will be used for growth and expansion.


NEW YORK, NY — JANUARY 14, 2015 — Rounds, the live communication platform that makes it easier, faster and more fun to connect to friends and family through instant group video chats on mobile, today announced that it has closed a $12 million Series B round of funding. The round was led by Sequoia Capital, the sole investor in Whatsapp, with participation from Samsung Ventures and existing capital partners such as Verizon Ventures, Rhodium, DFJ’s Tim Draper and additional private investors. The capital will be used to support the company’s continued growth and expansion, with key new hires across various departments, as well as to build out the platform further by bringing fun and entertainment into the conversation – focusing on the ease of getting together to create fun memories with the people you feel closest to.

“Rounds’ unique approach and increased engagement was different than any other video chat experience we’ve seen and is what triggered our belief in the company spearheading a new type of video chatting experience, one where instant conversations, fun content and pure entertainment lead the way,“ said Shmil Levy, partner at Sequoia Capital Israel. “As a firm we’ve been active in the mobile messaging space, watching the evolution of communication very closely. We believe the next generation is about instant video chatting and interactivity and this is exactly what we see in Rounds.”

”We invest in companies that are paving the way for their respective industries, and Rounds has quickly established itself as a pioneer in the video communications and entertainment space,“ said Hyuk-Jeen Suh, head of Samsung Ventures East Coast. “This investment is evidence of our belief in the need to bring interactive and engaging video chat to hundreds of millions of consumers who use consumer electronics devices every single day.”

Rounds instant group video chat offers a fun, easy and instantaneous means for communicating and connecting with friends. Within Rounds’ mobile app, users enjoy interactive conversations with friends and family where they can play games, watch videos, share photos, and much more, while video chatting together. To date, Rounds has 25 million users worldwide, most of whom have joined within recent months while the app has increased in popularity. The app has been featured over 100 times in recent months on the App Store and on Google Play. In 94% of video calls, Rounds users are engaged in interactive activities with one another – whether it’s playing games, using fun video effects, listening to music, taking snapshots or just scribbling on each other’s live feed.

“We’re taking the fundamental communication elements that connect people – sharing experiences and doing stuff together – to disrupt the video communication space. Whether it’s laughing about a video, reminiscing over photos, or singing along to a song, we’re bringing instantaneous group video chatting to everyday activities. It’s our “do things together” DNA that makes the difference.” said Dany Fishel, CEO and Co-founder of Rounds. “We feel privileged to have brought on such strategic and powerful investors such as the leading venture capitalists and Whatsapp’s sole investor Sequoia Capital, the venture arm of the Samsung Group, Skype’s early investor and board member, Tim Draper, as well as Verizon Ventures and Rhodium to back us and serve as invaluable resources. With the pioneers of the mobile, consumer electronics and telecommunications space supporting our vision, we are taking the video communication space to where we believe it could and should be.”

To learn more about Rounds, visit Rounds website here, or download Rounds on the App Store or on Google Play.
Watch a short demo video of Rounds here:

About Rounds
Rounds offers instant group video chat on mobile. It’s a live communication platform that makes it easier, faster and more fun to connect to friends and family. Using Rounds, friends can get together and send text messages, video chat with up to 12 participants and engage in activities while chatting – to watch videos, play games, share photos and much more. Rounds operates across networks, operating systems and devices. To date, Rounds has raised a total of $22 million in funding from industry leading investors, including Sequoia Capital, Samsung Ventures, Verizon Ventures, DFJ’s Tim Draper, Rhodium and other private investors. Learn more about Rounds at

About Samsung Ventures Investment Corporation
Samsung Venture Investment Corporation manages investment and investment-related activities for Samsung affiliate companies. The investment mandate for SVIC tracks closely to the strategic priorities of Samsung affiliate companies’ core operating divisions and encompasses investments in semiconductors, displays, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

About Sequoia
The Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 40 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value. We’re proud that their success also fuels great causes: since 2000 alone we have returned more than $10 billion to non-profits like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT.

Correction: A previous version of this report said that Tim Draper of Draper Associates participated in the funding round. Although Draper Associates did invest in the round, Tim Draper did not personally invest in the round. This report has now been corrected.