It doesn’t take Ron Burns, CEO and founder of ProtonMedia in Lansdale, to start talking about the “death of distance,” a concept academics have debated for more than a decade. In that death, ProtonMedia has discovered life in a virtual world, one that it is touting as a “tool in large corporations’ efficiency closet.”
The company recently announced completion of a $2.5 million round of Series A venture financing. The funds will accelerate research and development of ProtonMedia’s signature product, ProtoSphere 2.0, billed as a second-generation social collaboration platform for online teaming.
“It’s more about moving beyond a timed event to an always-on network,” says Burns, who founded ProtonMedia in 1999 as an e-learning shop for the healthcare industry. Seeing its model as content-heavy, the company looked to add context to learning and began developing ProtoSphere in 2005, blending a 3D virtual environment, complete with avatars and user profiles, with a live cam and allowing users to “teleport” to different locations like classrooms, meeting rooms, or offices.
An impressive list of clients have bought into ProtonMedia’s online teaming platform, like Comcast, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Chevron and Cisco. The company recently did a project for British Petroleum that was studied by MIT.
Originate Ventures of Bethlehem and Osage Partners of Bala Cynwyd provided a large chunk of capital in this round for a company that doubled its revenue during a global recession. Burns says ProtonMedia has been successful because it helps reduce travel costs and increase efficiencies, and going forward will focus on team-building.
“People learn in different ways and we want to create a tool flexible enough to give people the right to collaborate the way they feel,” he says.
Source: Ron Burns, ProtonMedia
Writer: Joe Petrucci