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 (Founder & CTO)
Brian Day (CFO)
Brian Kardon (CMO)
Keith Johnson (CPO)
Mary Good (CPO)
Laurie Harrison (CLO)
Chris Conry (CIO)
David Johnson (SVP)
Products Voice calling, audio and video conferencing, chat, and analytics
Number of employees
700[1] (February 2016)
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, videoconferencing, 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]

In early 2016, the company had 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]