This company wants to take on Slack with video messaging for enterprises

Now in beta, Kast is backed by $3 million and a collaboration with Microsoft

It's a rare consumer today who doesn't use a mobile video and messaging app like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Vine, but such capabilities are still few and far between on the enterprise side.

So argues Samba Tech, a Brazilian company that on Wednesday set out to fill that gap with a free mobile video app called Kast.

Samba Tech is an independent distributor of online videos in Latin America, and it's gathered US $3 million in funding to support Kast's U.S. launch. It's also partnered with Microsoft and built Kast on top of Azure.

Essentially, the company hopes to outdo Slack as the enterprise messaging platform of choice, becoming the corporate world's equivalent of Snapchat. Kast aims to go beyond tools like email, text, and chat and allow users to bring audio and video posts directly to select teams and channels, both at the office and on the go.

"With Kast, sales, marketing, HR, engineering, support, leadership, and more can use video to create and capture dynamic moments and ideas, or to deliver corporate information in a fresh and engaging way,” said Gustavo Caetano, Samba Tech's founder and CEO.

Users of the free software, which is now in beta on both Android and iOS, start by registering with a corporate email and then building a profile and connecting with other teams and channels. Once up and running, they can take video and audio recordings of up to two minutes in length and instantly share with team members, who can comment and share them.

Kast users can follow channels or coworkers, monitor the timeline for updates and enable notifications or alerts for specific channels. There's also a trending tab to see colleagues' most popular posts.

With Kast Premium, meanwhile, organizations can take advantage of admin rights to manage users, channels, and content, plus get more video storage space.

Video messaging is the next logical step for enterprise communications, said Raul Castanon-Martinez, a senior analyst with 451 Research.

"I don’t necessarily think it will replace voice and text messaging, but it adds yet another dimension that makes it better suited to address use cases that voice and text cannot do, or at least not as well," he explained.

Technical challenges have held video messaging back so far, but today enterprise apps like Slack and HipChat are beginning to expand their capabilities, he noted.

Enterprise messaging is already a crowded space, and so is the larger category of enterprise communications, Castanon-Martinez added. "This paints a complex competitive landscape for Kast."

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Katherine Noyes

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