The real-time video is a common ability, but to guarantee a high quality of the video, it requires a high technology which could self-adjust according to the environment. As a global real-time voice and video server, Agora was founded in 2014 by ZHAO Bin (赵斌), which core technology is RTC (Real-time Communication). With RTC, people could talk with each other online and just like the face-to-face talk offline. With the API of Agora, developers could apply Agora’s technology to video social, broadcast with interaction, AR remote cooperation, and video police service, etc.
On Nov 21, 2018, Agora completed its C round financing with USD 70 million. Coatue Management leads this investment and many famous s investors joined, including SIG, Chenxing Capital, Shunwei Capital. ZHAO Bin, the founder of Agora, used to lead the foundation of 2 Nasdaq listed company, Webex and YY. ZHAO used to be the CTO of YY which listed in Nasdaq and used to be valued USD 5 billion. Currently, Agora has established almost 100 data centers to help App developers to achieve real-time communication with high quality.
According to ZHAO, Agora is actively promoting the customers and developers from education, social, game, IoT and medical industries. Agora provides more than 40 solutions for different industrial situations. In education, the interaction between teachers and students is quite important for education quality. Agora published a solution which is stable and high definition to promote the interaction and cooperated with Air Course and Assignment Box to provide tiny class service for students.
In the IoT field, Agora found that smart hardware has a high requirement of the low cost and stability while interacting with other IoT facilities. Thus, Agora published an SDK with lower energy cost and specifically used for smart hard wares. The SDK is currently applied to smart facilities including Xiaotiancai watch, Xiaomi speaker.ZHAO attended the MWC 2019 held in February as the representative of Agora. According to ZHAO, the 5G time is approaching and bring new challenges to RTC. For example, the ultra-high code rate would challenge the SD-RTN, the switching of the transmission rate between 4G and 5G challenged RTC service. ZHAO said that Agora is exploring the related technology and sharpening it in order to achieve the Iterative optimization of the production ability.
On the other hand, ZHAO also mentioned other situations which RTC technology can be applied to. ZHAO said that the RTC technology can be used to medical and financial industries. For example, the Chongqing city published the 120 self-first-aid services. Once the user called 120, he could click the link sent by text and communicate with the doctors through the phone, in order to help the people-in-need. The Agora provides the SDK for this service.
ZHAO says that currently, more and more Chinese companies go overseas to explore the market, and the RTC technology becomes more and more important to help the companies to start the overseas business. The key factors that RTC focuses are low latency, high quality, and the stable transmission rate. When the company is talking with foreign companies, these ability is of vital importance for successful communication.
ZHAO believes that in the future, the RTC could be more convenient for people and will be more widely applied. With the development and updating of technology, more and more situations could cooperate with RTC and help to serve people.