Fuze (company)

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Fuze
Private
Industry Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
Founded 2006
Founders Steven Kokinos
Derek Yoo
Headquarters Boston, MA, USA
Number of locations
12
Key people
Steven Kokinos (Founder & chairman)
Colin Doherty (CEO)
Derek Yoo (CTO)
Brian Day (CFO)
Brian Kardon (CMO)
Keith Johnson (CPO)
Products Voice calling, audio and video conferencing, chat, and analytics
Number of employees
700[1]
Website fuze.com

Fuze (formerly known as ThinkingPhones) is a provider of cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

Products[edit]

Fuze's main product combines business voice, video conferencing, text, instant messaging and collaboration apps under a single cloud service delivered both to traditional phone systems and mobile devices.[2][3][4] It runs on a natively-developed platform, and is focused primarily on 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. The products can integrate with existing enterprise software services, such as Salesforce and Gmail.[1]

As of 2016, the company has approximately 1,500 clients,[6] including Associated Press, Starbucks, Macys.com, Acquia and Marketo.[1] Past clients include Arm & Hammer, John Hancock Financial, Sony and Century 21.[7] Fuze competes with Google, Microsoft and Cisco in offering a combination of phone, videoconferencing, text and related services.[1]

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.[1] Kokinos was previously a co-founder of BladeLogic, where Yoo was a product manager.[8] Thinking Phones' initial focus was unifying voice, text and conferencing services through an Internet-based platform.[9][10] 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.[8] 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.[10]

Thinking Phone Networks took its first venture capital in January 2010, a $1.2 million equity financing from Capstone Partners.[8] Following rounds included $16.5 million in October 2012, led by venture capital firms Advanced Technology Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners;[7] $10 million in October 2013 from the same firms;[11] and $56.7 million of funding in December 2014, led by Technology Crossover Ventures.[12] 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.[9]

The company grew from 200 employees at the beginning of 2015 to over 700 by the end of the year.[6]

Rebranding to Fuze (2016-present)[edit]

In November 2015, Thinking Phones acquired San Francisco-based cloud voice and video conferencing company FuzeBox,[1][9] which was founded in 1998 by Jeff Cavins as CallWave, a publicly traded company. In 2009, it was taken private and renamed FuzeBox.[13][14]

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.[6][15]

In 2016, Fuze was ranked #19 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.[16]

On February 8, 2017, Fuze announced $104 million in its latest round of funding, bringing total funding to over $300 million.[17]

On February 17, 2017, Colin Doherty was announced as CEO of Fuze. Steve Kokinos will oversee corporate strategy as Executive Chairman. [18]

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.[6]

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.[19][20]

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.[6][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "ThinkingPhones gets $112M, renames itself Fuze to modernize office communication". BetaBoston. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  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 Ron Miller, "ThinkingPhones Becomes Fuze and Grabs $112 Million Investment Led By Summit Partners," TechCrunch, February 9, 2016.
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b c Galen Moore, "Thinking Phone Networks nabs $1.2M funding," Boston Business Journal, January 21, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Alex Konrad, "Why Boston Startup ThinkingPhones Renamed Itself Fuze After Raising $112 Million," Forbes, February 9, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Rebecca Strong, "Cambridge's ThinkingPhones Is on a Tear," BostInno, June 15, 2015.
  11. ^ "Thinking Phone Networks Raises $10 Million Series C Funding to Grow UCaaS in the Global Market". BostonInno. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "ThinkingPhones Calls Up $56M to Unify Communications in the Mobile Age". Xconomy. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "#79 Fuzebox," Forbes, February 2013.
  14. ^ Sarah Lacy, "Fuze Box: Sitting Pretty with No Public Shareholders and 1.1 Million Users," TechCrunch, August 19, 2009.
  15. ^ Bob Brown, “Do the networking company names Ligado, Fuze or Apteligent ring any bells?” Network World, February 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "Forbes Cloud 100". Forbes. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  17. ^ "Exclusive: Fuze Raises $104M, Its 'Last Round' Before IPO". Bostinno. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Unified communications firm Fuze hires well-traveled CEO to lead it to IPO promised land". Network World. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "Thinking Phone Networks snaps up Whaleback Managed Services, enhances UCaaS play". FierceTelecom. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Kyle Alspach, "Thinking Phone Networks acquires N.H. firm Whaleback," BetaBoston, August 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "ThinkingPhones Acquires Contactive--Telephony Playing Catch-up". Forbes. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 

External links[edit]