Firm eyes growth with souped-up screens for Zoom calls

October 5, 2020 – Newline Interactive is getting a new home as it nears a fresh way to help remote workers handle the new era of videoconferencing.

The company that provides large monitors for key meetings is relocating its offices to Allen with a space that takes up about 8,000 square feet, according to Chris Bradford, president of the company. That’s a big step up from the roughly 4,500 square feet the company had before at its site in Plano for more than a half decade.

“The growth is not slowing, so we need to keep expanding,” Bradford said in an interview, adding that the “building up in Allen was a great fit.”

The new locale is at the One Bethany West building, he said noting the attraction to the site included its newness and “great amenities.”

While COVID-19 has had its effects on the business, he’s seen ongoing demand. Newline provides screens that can stretch 86 inches and enable smoother meetings with all kinds of technology features and software.

And now, the company is looking to expand outside offices with an at-home screen package that includes the high-end touches of its more traditional gear. It’s a key move as more people seek better options in their houses for Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams meetings with the pandemic continuing to keep workplaces quiet.

“It’s going to be pretty disruptive,” he said.

The company has grown to roughly 50 employees — and should have around 75 around in a year.

And there’s more revenue as well. The company is likely to have around 45 percent to 55 percent revenue growth this year from the roughly $55 million it had last year, despite the challenges of COVID-19. He sees pent-up demand heading into 2021.

“Most of it, we see coming back now,” he said, noting it’s hard to know what all will happen. “But next year we feel really confident about yet another high growth year, probably in the neighborhood of that 45 percent again.”

The company has grown with devices that offer high-end audio, 4K screens and software tools that allow users to easily share files – or use the screens as giant quasi-whiteboards.

The displays start at 55 inches and go up — well-sized for many conference rooms.

The new device for remote workers comes in at 27 inches — roughly double the size of some laptop screens. A typical display can make a videoconference call cumbersome, especially when video and audio isn’t up to par.

The addition to Newline’s lineup is slated to be a “touchscreen with built-in cameras, microphones and speakers,” he said. “Really, it’s a unified collaboration device.”

It connects to a laptop – and is designed to be a light lift to get up and running. It’s slated for release by the end of 2020.

While remote work is another arrow in the company’s quiver, Newline has sustained growth in markets that include education — from young kids to colleges.

“Really, they need a teaching service,” he said. “At the end of last year, they all went home with laptops and had a really rough time. Broadly speaking, it didn’t go too well.”

Large enterprise customers have been a drag on the business as folks stay home and offices remain quiet, he said. Still, there are other areas of strength, including health care and local governments.

And as the business grows, the company finds other ways to enable expansion. An initial public offering is not out of the question.

“I don’t think we’re there yet,” he said. “But down the road … that could happen. I think that is a strategy that we could employ at some point.”

Source: Dallas Business Journal