Video conferencing company Blue Jeans Network secures $50 million funding

Consumers want video communications that are as easy to use as audio -- but without the hassle of downloading clunky client software. Blue Jeans Networks believes it has the solution.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Following the announcement yesterday about Fuzebox securing finance, today another video collaboration services start-up has announced new funding.

The business collaboration and unified communications landscape is shifting rapidly and start-ups are taking advantage of this change, often stealing customers from their larger competitors. 

Credit: Blue Jeans Networks

Video conferencing start-up Blue Jeans Network, was founded in 2009 and is based in Mountain View, CA. It has announced today that it has secured $50 million in new funding.

This was led by Battery Ventures with participation from previous investors Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Norwest Ventures Partners.

The funding round will enable Blue Jeans Network to build out its global platform for business collaboration. It says that is already has over 2,000 businesses and 3 million participants using over 100 million minutes annually.

Its customers include Edelman, Facebook, Match.com, Noble Energy, Opower, and Stanford University.

The new funding will “accelerate growth with domestic and global market expansion, specifically the UK and Australia as well as support on-going product innovation” for business collaboration.

Companies focusing on online collaboration are experiencing growth, gaining customers and increasing revenue -- largely at the expense of industry incumbents such as Cisco and Polycom.

Consumers want video communications that are as easy as audio communications and to have effective collaboration wherever they are. Consumers want to connect to a video conference using whatever tools they already have, with no hardware to buy.

Usually when you participate in a video conference, you have to download the client software or plug in  -- and use the software specified by the conference host.

However, there is a dramatic shift happening in video conferencing as legacy companies like Cisco and Polycom are being challenged by young, fresh players like FuzeBox and Blue Jeans Network. 

It’s interesting that with companies like Cisco and Polycom posting losses in the market that top execs are moving to FuzeBox and top VC firms are putting money into the collaboration space. 

“Our new way of thinking has captured more than one-third of the video conferencing services market in just two years.” ~ Krish Ramakrishnan, co-founder and CEO of Blue Jeans Network

They are looking at the trend lines and seeing a mega-market emerge.

This market combines technologies such as teleconferencing, web conferencing (Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting and Microsoft Lync etc.) and video conferencing.  

Like Fuzebox, Blue Jeans Network uses a cloud-based conferencing service for customers to connect with each other from practically any device.

Blue Jeans seems to be bridging the gap between dispersed social and business networks.

The recent round of funding, led by Roger Lee of Battery Ventures, brings the total of overall financing for Blue Jeans to nearly $100 million.

In addition to supporting innovation, the funding will fuel market expansion with new offices in San Francisco and new operations in Europe and Australia.

Investors Battery Ventures has shown its sense of humour about funding round  – and pokes fun at the state of the online collaboration market. 

“With billions of camera-enabled devices in the workforce, all it takes is Blue Jeans to turn any internet connection into a more impactful face-to-face meeting” said Ramakrishnan.

“Our aim is to transform every distributed meeting into a video meeting, and continue to push the boundaries of visual business collaboration.”

Not knowing – or caring -- which videoconferencing solution you are using is a big plus for office workers. Easily connecting to a conference from anywhere – without the hassle of downloading a web conferencing client – gives Blue Jeans a simple – and compelling edge.  

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