Cloud UC Provider FuzeBox Gets $26 Million in Funding

By Jeffrey Burt Print this article Print

FuzeBox, which offers cloud-based communications and collaboration services, is getting a new CEO, some new executives and another $26 million in funding.

FuzeBox also is unveiling a new “freemium” service that is designed to ramp up adoption of the company’s offerings by enabling businesses to try out the service before deciding whether to subscribe.

The latest funding round was led by Hermes Growth Partners, along with previous investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Insight Venture Partners. The funding—which brings the total raised by FuzeBox to $46 million—comes around the same time that Blue Jeans Network, a company that offers cloud-based video conferencing technology, raised $50 million. The money invested in both companies illustrates the growing interest in cloud-based services for communications and collaboration.

“Loss of productivity has burdened the distributed workforce for far too long and it is time that changed,” David Obrand, FuzeBox’s new CEO, said in a statement. “FuzeBox is redefining the real-time collaboration experience across teams and organizations of all sizes, in any location and on any device.”

FuzeBox, founded in 2009, offers a range of voice, video and content collaboration capabilities offered via the cloud, which helps reduce costs and complexity for businesses that want to deploy unified communications (UC) and video conferencing. It also addresses the issues of interoperability between vendor offerings, enabling users to connect regardless of whose equipment they’re using as endpoints.

Beyond the free service—which scales to up to 25 participants and has unlimited toll calling in the United States for up to 60 days—FuzeBox also offers Fuze Pro (for $8 a month) and Fuze Enterprise ($20 a month) services, which increase participation up to 125 people and unlimited U.S. toll calls, in the case of Fuze Enterprise, an administration console. All three programs offer up to 1GB of cloud storage.

With its cloud-based services, FuzeBox is competing in a crowded market against established vendors, including UC giants Cisco Systems and Microsoft. Other companies also are getting into the cloud-based UC arena, including ShoreTel (which last year bought M5 Networks for its cloud-based UC technology), Avaya (last year it introduced its Collaborative Cloud solution) and Mitel (which is partnering with Black Box on cloud-based UC).

FuzeBox CEO Obrand—who came from Yammer, which Microsoft bought last year for $1.2 billion, and prior to that Salesforce.com—said the company would use the new $25 million to improve its technology, ramp adoption of the freemium offering and grow its sales, marketing and support operations.

Along with Obrand, FuzeBox also named a new chief customer officer; a new vice president and general manager of its European, Middle East and Asia business; and a new vice president of finance.

This article was originally published on 2013-09-20
Originally published on www.eweek.com.