Blue Jeans Gets $50M for Cloud-Based Video Conferencing
The company is challenging Cisco, Microsoft and others in the increasingly competitive video conferencing space.Blue Jeans Network, the four-year-old company that offers cloud-based video conferencing technology, has raised another $50 million in financing, essentially doubling the funding it has received. Company officials announced Sept. 18 that the latest round of funding was led by Battery Ventures, and includes contributions from previous investors Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Northwest Venture Partners. According to Blue Jeans executives, the funding comes as the company is seeing rapid growth in everything from customers and users to usage, bookings and revenues, and that the growth is coming at the expense of established players like Cisco Systems and Polycom. The company has more than 2,000 businesses and 3 million participants, all of whom are using more than 100 million minutes every year. "From the beginning, we focused on making video collaboration about the meeting participant," Krish Ramakrishnan, co-founder and CEO of Blue Jeans Network, said in a statement. "Up until now, traditional methods have been elitist, complex and leave the participant at the mercy of the physical location of the device." Vendors like Cisco and Polycom have been offering video conferencing and telepresence solutions for years, but video communications has gotten a lot of attention recently, thanks to such trends as greater employee mobility, the explosion of connected mobile devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) adoption. The global recession also forced businesses anxious to save money to consider video conferences as a way of cutting travel expenses.