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Innovation & Job News

Speek goes pro, launches Android app

Speek, the Dulles-based startup that wants to change conference calls for the better, added an Android app to its iPhone and Windows 8 app offerings on Friday. The company came out of beta two weeks ago and simultaneously launched its pro version, which adds additional features like call recording and file sharing.
 
"We have a brand new design," explains Konrad Waliszewski, vice president of business development for Speek. "We've also upgraded all of our infrastructure [to allow] for significant scale. Basically, we grew up as a company."
 
Speek, which has grown from four employees when it launched in June 2012 to its current 14, allows anyone with an Internet connection to make a conference call. There are no dedicated phone numbers, passwords or PINs to disseminate to callers; users sign up on Speek for free and receive their own URL, which they share with other callers. When it's time for the call, they go to the URL and put in the phone number they'd like to use—landline, mobile number or even directly from a browser. Speek then calls and connects the users. Best of all? There is no annoying hold music to listen to while waiting for other participants to connect.
 
On the web, Speek is using WebRTC, a Google open source initiative. "It allows for high-quality VOIP," Waliszewski says. WebRTC is currently operational on Chrome and Firefox.
 
The pro version, available for $10 per month, allows Speek users to record calls, to use a chat function and to share files. Where basic users are limited to five callers per session, pro users aren't subjected to that limit. Currently, basic Speek users who refer three friends that sign up can get a month of Speek Pro for free.
 
Speek's business model provides its own advertising. "When you share a link, that's free marketing for us," Waliszewski says. "A high percentage of people [who are invited to Speek] register and become users themselves. It's inherently viral. We haven't marketed on a significant level. Almost all of our users come from that viral invite. It's great when those dynamics work in your favor."
 
Speek is working to expand internationally.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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