Fuze (company)

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Fuze, Inc.
Private
IndustryUnified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
Founded2006
FoundersSteven Kokinos
Derek Yoo
Headquarters,
USA
Number of locations
21
Key people
Brian Day (CEO)
Tom Siegel (CSO)
Elisa Gilmartin (CPO)
Rob Scudiere (COO)
Chris Conry (CIO)
David Donatelli (SVP)
ProductsVoice calling, audio and video conferencing, chat, and analytics
Number of employees
741 (Sept 2019)[1]
Websitefuze.com

Fuze (formerly known as ThinkingPhones) is a cloud communications and collaboration software platform designed for the enterprise. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

Products[edit]

Fuze's main product combines business voice, videoconferencing, text, instant messaging, content sharing, and collaboration apps under a single cloud service to deliver both traditional phone systems and mobile devices a seamless transition between communication methods.[2][3][4] It runs on a natively-developed platform, and is focused primarily on large enterprise and mid-market customers.[5] The company also provides analytics and real-time intelligence, with an expanded version of caller ID that pulls information from a caller's online profiles to provide more information on the caller. Mobile enhancements to Fuze offer mobile workers more flexibility and control, while maintaining the full capabilities of the Fuze platform. The products can integrate with existing enterprise software services, such as Slack, Salesforce and Gmail.[6][7]

The company's customers include Associated Press, PGA Tour, National Geographic, AstraZeneca, Waste Management, Yamaha Corporation of America, and PTC.[8][6][9][10] Fuze competes with Google, Microsoft and Cisco in offering a combination of phone, videoconferencing, text and related services.[6]

History[edit]

Thinking Phone Networks (2006-2016)[edit]

Thinking Phone Networks was founded in 2006 by Steven Kokinos and Derek Yoo, as an enterprise software company.[6] Kokinos was previously a co-founder of BladeLogic, where Yoo was a product manager.[11] Thinking Phones' initial focus was unifying voice, text and conferencing services through an Internet-based platform.[12][13] Originally marketed as a business VoIP or hosted PBX replacement service for mid-market and enterprise customers, the company expanded its services to provide messaging, presence, video services, collaboration and analytics within the unified communications industry.[11] In 2010, Thinking Phone Networks launched one of the first mobile business phone applications on the iOS store, and later released an Android version of the service.[13]

Thinking Phone Networks took its first venture capital in January 2010, a $1.2 million equity financing from Capstone Partners.[11] Following rounds included $16.5 million in October 2012, led by venture capital firms Advanced Technology Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners;[9] $10 million in October 2013 from the same firms;[14] and $56.7 million of funding in December 2014, led by Technology Crossover Ventures.[15] In 2016, after raising a new round of $112 million in private financing from Summit Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, the company brought its total fundraising to over $200 million since its founding.[12]

The company grew from 200 employees at the beginning of 2015 to over 700 by the end of the year.[8]

Rebranding to Fuze (2016-present)[edit]

In November 2015, Thinking Phones acquired San Francisco-based cloud voice and video conferencing company FuzeBox,[6][12] which was founded in 1998 by Jeff Cavins as CallWave, a publicly traded company. In 2009, it was taken private and renamed FuzeBox.[16][17]

On February 9, 2016, Thinking Phones announced that it had rebranded itself as Fuze. The name change was intended to indicate that the company had moved beyond exclusively phone-related offerings and to better reflect its core offerings, as a unified platform for voice, video, and collaboration.[8][18]

On February 17, 2017, Colin Doherty was announced as CEO of Fuze. Steve Kokinos will oversee corporate strategy as Executive Chairman.[19]

In May 2019, Fuze announced it has raised $484.8 million to date in total funding.[20]

On June 5, 2019, Fuze launched Flex Summit, a one-day industry event bringing together experts in technology, HR, operations, and management to explore the future of distributed work.[21]

In addition to its headquarters in Boston, the company has additional locations in cities including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Ottawa, London, Amsterdam, Aveiro (Portugal), Paris, Munich, Zurich, Copenhagen, and Sydney.[22]

Patents and awards[edit]

Fuze has been ranked on the Forbes Cloud 100 list every year since 2016.[23][1] The company was ranked #290 on Deloitte's 2018 Technology Fast 500, among the fastest growing technology companies in North America.[24]

Fuze was awarded U.S. Patent No. 10,097,612 in March 2019. This patent, entitled “Selecting Routes Through a Network,” includes the ability to identify a fault location on a segment of the network, enabling Fuze to identify network problems before they cause issues for users, on both a private or public Wi-Fi network. Fuze was awarded U.S. Patent No. 10,191,951 in July 2019 to enable an advanced machine learning algorithm that applies the technology of skills-based routing to internal employee groups.[25]

Acquisitions[edit]

Starting in 2014, ThinkingPhones began acquiring companies with a purpose of building a full communications stack in the cloud, to provide messaging, phone and video services, along with caller data.[8]

In August 2014, the company acquired Whaleback Managed Services, a provider of cloud-based phone services for medium-sized businesses, re-launching Whaleback's brand name to ThinkingPhones that year.[26][27]

In February 2015, ThinkingPhones acquired Contactive, which provides contact information from a caller, connecting profiles and identities created by people and businesses online and associating them with a telephone number to create an identity graph. Contactive gathers information from sources including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and Yelp.[8][28]

Partnerships[edit]

In March 2019, Fuze announced a partnership with Samsung to provide mobile unified communications as a service for remote and distributed workers.[29]

In September 2019, Fuze announced an integration with Slack, enabling users to seamlessly toggle between the two platforms when moving from a Slack conversation to a Fuze call or meeting.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "#71 Fuze". Forbes.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Thinking Phones Upgrades Mobile UCaaS App for Android". Channel Partners Online. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  3. ^ Noah Kulwin, "Capital Gains," Re/code, February 14, 2016.
  4. ^ Beth Schultz, "ThinkingPhones Takes on Fuze Identity," No Jitter, February 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Dave Michels, "Thinking of Phones," No Jitter, January 27, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e "ThinkingPhones gets $112M, renames itself Fuze to modernize office communication". BetaBoston. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Fuze announces Slack integration for the enterprise". techrepublic.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ron Miller, "ThinkingPhones Becomes Fuze and Grabs $112 Million Investment Led By Summit Partners," TechCrunch, February 9, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Thinking Phone Networks raises $16.5m in round led by ATV, Bessemer Venture Partners". Boston.com. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Amazon's new videoconferencing tool encroaches on LogMeIn's turf". bizjournals.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Galen Moore, "Thinking Phone Networks nabs $1.2M funding," Boston Business Journal, January 21, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c Alex Konrad, "Why Boston Startup ThinkingPhones Renamed Itself Fuze After Raising $112 Million," Forbes, February 9, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Rebecca Strong, "Cambridge's ThinkingPhones Is on a Tear," BostInno, June 15, 2015.
  14. ^ "Thinking Phone Networks Raises $10 Million Series C Funding to Grow UCaaS in the Global Market". BostonInno. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  15. ^ "ThinkingPhones Calls Up $56M to Unify Communications in the Mobile Age". Xconomy. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  16. ^ "#79 Fuzebox," Forbes, February 2013.
  17. ^ Sarah Lacy, "Fuze Box: Sitting Pretty with No Public Shareholders and 1.1 Million Users," TechCrunch, August 19, 2009.
  18. ^ Bob Brown, “Do the networking company names Ligado, Fuze or Apteligent ring any bells?” Network World, February 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "Unified communications firm Fuze hires well-traveled CEO to lead it to IPO promised land". Network World. 2017-02-16. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Fuze Raised $484M To Take On Skype And WebEx In $100B Market". Forbes.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Fuze Redefines Flexibility with Flex Summit". uctoday.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  22. ^ "About Us". fuze.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Forbes Cloud 100". Forbes. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  24. ^ "2018 Technology Fast 500 Winners". deloitte.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  25. ^ "Awarded Patent for Improving Network Communications". fuze.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Thinking Phone Networks snaps up Whaleback Managed Services, enhances UCaaS play". FierceTelecom. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  27. ^ Kyle Alspach, "Thinking Phone Networks acquires N.H. firm Whaleback," BetaBoston, August 12, 2014.
  28. ^ "ThinkingPhones Acquires Contactive--Telephony Playing Catch-up". Forbes. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  29. ^ "Fuze and Samsung partner to bring mobile UCaaS to the frontline". techtarget.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.

External links[edit]