US carrier Verizon * has invested in the purchase of veteran B2B videoconferencing platform BlueJeans Network – spending less than $ 500 million on the acquisition, according to the Wall Street Journal which first reported the news.
A Verizon spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the price was less than $ 500 million, but did not provide a more exact figure. The Blue Jeans videoconferencing platform has raised about $ 175 million since its creation a decade ago, by Crunchbase, with the American investor NEA leading an E series in 2015.
In a press release announcing the agreement, Verizon said it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire the corporate video conferencing and event platform to expand its “immersive unified communications portfolio”.
“Customers will benefit from an enterprise-level BlueJeans video experience on Verizon’s high-performance global networks. In addition, the platform will be deeply integrated into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap, providing secure, real-time engagement solutions for high-growth areas such as telemedicine, distance education and field work, “he wrote.
“As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely essential that businesses and public sector clients have access to a full suite of business-ready, secure, frictionless and tool-integrated offerings existing, “added Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, in a supporting statement. “Collaboration and communications have become the priority of companies of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months. We are excited to combine the power of the BlueJeans video platform with Verizon Business networks, platforms and connectivity solutions to meet the needs of our customers. “
The acquisition comes at a time when video conferencing is seeing a massive increase in usage as white-collar workers around the world connect to meetings from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although BlueJeans’ rival Zoom, it is the most prominent name linked to the boom in viral video conferencing in recent weeks. The latter recently revealed that participants in the daily meeting on his platform went from a modest 10M in December to 200M in March.
However, such burgeoning growth and consumer usage has increased Zoom control – leading to a series of warnings (and even certain prohibitions), linked to security and confidentiality problems. And earlier this month The company said it would freeze product development to focus on the list of issues that arose when users piled up and launched their tires, taking some of the luster out of growth.
On the usage front, BlueJeans is certainly a small fish compared to Zoom – having remained focused on B2B. A BlueJeans spokesperson told us that she had more than $ 100 million ARR and more than 15,000 customers at this point. (Some notable users include Facebook and Disney.)
But paid users are probably the most attractive to Verizon, which is why we’re talking about telemedicine, distance education, and fieldwork – areas for accelerated scanning by coronaviruses. In general, operators have not been able to translate increased usage during the pandemic into revenue growth – due to a combination of fixed costs, debts and market disruptions that have struck their shares during the coronavirus crisis, according to Reuters. The integration of new B2B tools seems to be a way to increase network revenues.
“The combination of BlueJeans’ world-class corporate video collaboration platform and a trusted brand with cutting edge IT innovation from Verizon Business will provide highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our common customers,” said said Quentin Gallivan, BlueJeans CEO, in a statement. “We are delighted to join the Verizon team and we truly believe that the future of corporate communications begins today!”
Verizon said today that the founders and “key management” of BlueJeans will join the company as part of the acquisition, with BlueJeans employees expected to become employees of Verizon immediately after the agreement is closed – which is expected in the second quarter, pending the usual closing conditions. .
BlueJeans co-founder Krish Ramakrishnan has a history of exits selling some of his previous startups to network giant Cisco – where he also worked, between two companies that have launched.
* Disclosure: Verizon is also the parent company of TechCrunch