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One of the biggest trends that emerged at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was the mass exodus of employees out of the office. In 2020, 42% of the U.S. labor force began working from home. Yet as more organizations support remote work during the pandemic, there emerged a growing need for collaboration solutions to enable employees to work together effectively outside the office.

Visual collaboration tools and digital whiteboards have emerged as one of the key technologies that technical decision-makers can use to empower employees to effectively plan and manage projects as they work from home in virtual workspaces.

For this reason, the visual collaboration market is undergoing a boom. Research indicates that the global visual collaboration platform software market will reach $1.67 billion in 2021, as organizations look for solutions to enable employees to effectively work remotely.

The market includes a mixture of cloud and web-based collaboration tools, from online collaboration whiteboard tools like Miro, Mural, and Stormboard to visual management systems like iObeya.

Almost all solutions aim to provide remote teams with the ability to work together more effectively via real-time collaboration through an online whiteboard canvas or digital workspace.

An expanding market: Miro announces $400M in series C funding 

In 2021, the boom of the visual collaboration market doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Earlier this week, infinite canvas provider Miro raised $400 million in its series C funding round with investors including ICONIQ Growth, Accel, Atlassian, Dragoneer, GIC, Salesforce Ventures, and TCV.

The new funding raises Miro’s valuation to $17.5 billion, making it one of the top 20 most valuable private companies in the world, with over 130,000 customers and clients that include 99% of Fortune 100 companies.

Miro has aimed to differentiate itself from competitors by building a vast ecosystem of integrations, featuring over 100 app integrations with solutions including Atlassian, Cisco, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.

As the pandemic continues and employees become acclimated to remote work, visual collaboration solutions like Miro play an important role in centralizing traditional workspaces digitally.

“We believe that our platform is now more important than ever as organizations around the globe are redefining the way they work — looking for new ways to engage teams and do away with siloed thinking.” said Andrey Khusid, cofounder and CEO of Miro in the official announcement.

“Thousands of organizations use Miro’s platform every day to harness the power of collaboration to nurture new ideas, solve complex problems, and bring new products to market. We believe that the ‘Miro way’ will be the spark that enables teams to transform imagination into execution and opportunity into reality,” he said.

The visual collaboration boom: Mural, iObeya and the growth of visual management solutions 

Miro isn’t the only visual collaboration solutions provider receiving substantial investment during the pandemic. Digital collaboration software vendor Mural also raised $50 million in series C funding and reached a valuation of $2 billion in July 2021.

Like Miro, Mural has also looked to integrations to mesh with other collaboration tools, with more than 300 templates and integrations for popular tools including Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams.

A year before that, another notable investment took place in July 2020 when France-based agile and digital management solution provider iObeya announced it had raised $17 million in series A funding to accelerate the company’s expansion into the United States.

In 2020, the company claimed that demand for the platform had increased 400% since the start of the year as organizations sought solutions to support remote work and distributed teams.

Real-time collaboration is now a must-have 

As the traditional office gives way to digital and decentralized working environments, there is a dire need for solutions that enable users to work together in real-time. Virtual whiteboards and virtual rooms are providing a space where employees can collaborate as effectively as if they were in the office.

So long as organizations continue to work from home, there is likely to be significant demand for visual collaboration solutions to make it as easy as possible to come together and collaborate on projects.

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