GAN Partner Profile: TokBox

We’ve written before about what an incredible job GAN Partner, TokBox, does in working with startups. But we sat down with Charles and Amelia from the TokBox team on a video call recently to hear how they’re going about startup engagement, what makes for a successful partner-startup relationship, and why working with startups has proven to be so beneficial—for their team, and for the startups they work alongside. And we even used their video platform to do it. How’s that for synchronicity?


What does TokBox do?
We provide a live video platform, OpenTok, that allows users to embed live interactive video, voice, and messaging straight into their web and mobile apps. TokBox offers a set of tools for developers to integrate real-time communications into their existing products.

Who uses TokBox?
Live video has been adopted to enhance customer experience across a wide range of industries and company sizes. As a self-serve platform, we see everything from entrepreneurs building the next great telehealth service, all the way up to Fortune 500 insurance companies implementing video as part of a digital transformation strategy. Results include improved customer satisfaction ratings, operational cost reductions, and more. In particular, we’ve seen a lot of traction in education, healthcare, insurance, and social spaces.

The education industry is a great example of this. Both traditional education institutions, such as Washington State University, and newer entrants like Presence Learning, are turning to live video to create unique learning experiences. We’re seeing the virtual classroom and tutoring use cases grow in popularity.

What are some examples of companies that have used TokBox?
Although we work with some enormous enterprise companies—such as insurance or healthcare providers—the vast majority of our customer base is actually made up of startups.

Cambly is a nice one. They provide one-on-one tutoring for teaching English to students around the world. They’ve been using TokBox to power their sessions since they launched, and it’s awesome to see how much they are going after this market and succeeding.

Why is TokBox investing resources into working with startups?
TokBox is investing resources in startups because they are on the cutting-edge of technology. We want to help these innovators by providing a reliable, scalable platform that can support their needs as they grow.

As an example of how we’re investing in startups, we recently sponsored exhibition booths for several of our customers at TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Alley. We also know how expensive office space can be, especially for startups in the Bay Area, so we allow GAN Accelerators and GAN Startups to use our San Francisco office space when needed.

We’ve also been putting our team resources into developer events. Recently, our Developer Evangelist, Manik, has been attending hackathons as a mentor and judge. It’s a great way to meet startups early on, or even students who may one day be in a startup. Our technical team has loads of experience and are really passionate about what they do. Their enthusiasm is pretty infectious!

Why did TokBox decide to become a GAN Partner?
Being part of the GAN Community means that TokBox is continually being connected to GAN Accelerator portfolio or alumni companies who may benefit from live video. It helps us build relationships with startups and get critical feedback on how we can improve our offering to help our customers grow.

We also get to share resources and learn from other GAN Partners who are engaging with startups—nearly 30 other well-respected companies—so we have consistent insight into best practices around what works and what doesn’t in doing startup engagement.

What are the top qualities you look for in a startup before engaging with them?

  1. Flexibility
  2. Willingness to give feedback
  3. Innovation
  4. Startups that see TokBox as a team to engage with

What kinds of things turn you off from working with a startup?
It can be difficult working with startups given the dynamic nature of their businesses, but we enjoy those challenges and understand that it’s part of working with them.

What does success look like for you when working with a startup founder or company?
Success for TokBox is being able to provide value to a startup. Because there is so much variability in what startups need, every bit of value added is a success.


If you’re a GAN Startup and would like to be connected to the TokBox team, you can email them at You can also see and request a direct connection with TokBox and other GAN Partners through GAN Corporate Connect, our internal platform that allows GAN Startups to easily see exactly what problems GAN Partners are looking to address, and to offer a solution to that problem by initiating a mutually-beneficial relationship.