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  • Writer's pictureHelena Merk

Glimpse Launches Beta for Zoom Breakout Room App And Is Acquired by Twine

I dropped out of Duke in 2019 alongside my co-founder, Brian Li, with a mission: to fight the loneliness epidemic. We graduated from Y Combinator, raised a pre-seed round, grew a team, and built Glimpse.

Two years and tons of craziness later, I get to share two big announcements from our team.

First, I’m thrilled to announce that we have officially joined forces with twine, a company that shares the same mission and values that have driven Glimpse since the very beginning (more on that later!).

Second, our Breakout Room management tool twine for Zoom (formerly Shuffle) goes live on the Zoom App Marketplace in just a few days. (join the waitlist here!) As Lawrence Coburn, CEO and co-founder of twine stated, we hope and believe that twine can become “the de facto way that Zoom customers will run breakout rooms from here on out.”

So… how on earth did we get here?


Glimpse was born during a weekend, the first weekend of San Francisco COVID lockdown. We built a “speed dating” experience for friends and launched it in a meme group. Students around the world were sent home from college and abruptly forced into “Zoom University”. Glimpse gave them 2 minutes to speak with another student going through the same college withdrawal, before automatically rotating them to their next chat, and students loved it.

College clubs, sororities, and departments soon discovered us. We leaned in, built robust matchmaking schemes, and grew across campuses. We quickly started working with companies on improving remote work culture. Unlike competitors, Glimpse is built for fun, and doesn’t come across as enterprise-y: it is chosen as an icebreaker tool because it doesn’t look like a work-related tool. It feels like a game.

Companies wanted to pay us and we agreed. With our backgrounds in hacky growth strategies and a consumer social app, selling to companies was far from our forte: in the beginning, I undersold so significantly, early customers pulled me aside and told me how much more I should be charging (you know who you are!).

In 2020, Glimpse facilitated over 1 million matches, many many millions of minutes of conversation, for thousands of organizations. We worked with stellar people leaders, all sharing our goal of making their communities more tight-nit.

In 2021, as we planned for a post-COVID world, we realized the larger opportunity was in meeting remote teams where they already were — in Zoom. (This was an obvious choice, as 3/4 Glimpsers started in Zoom, sharing a link out to our site in the chat.)

We shifted all efforts to Shuffle (now twine for Zoom), a Zoom App for breakout room automation and management. We took all the learnings from Glimpse, from UX patterns, matchmaking schemes, types of customers to work with.

While this was happening, twine experienced their own journey from consumer into b2b matchmaking, approaching it from the other end of growth: top-down sales. Their background was deep in event tech and knew how this world worked. Our web products felt quite similar.

I met Lawrence, founder, and CEO of twine through Twitter, and immediately sensed a mutual passion for the space. Our common thread was the passion to bring the world a bit closer together, make people a little less lonely, and ground people in a sense of belonging.

Twine similarly realized the power of integrating into existing solutions. What we are working on with Zoom fits perfectly into twine’s roadmap and our own.

We cannot wait to move forward and build a more authentically connected world — and with our teams now united (or better, intertwined 😉), we’re moving quickly.

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