VC-backed Blue Jeans Network launched today, announcing the release of its high-definition video conferencing product. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup, which was founded about 18 months ago, has raised $23.5 million in venture funding from Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Norwest Venture Partners. The board of directors includes Matt Howard from Norwest, Ping Li from Accel, Scott Sandell from NEA, and Peter Wagner, formerly from Accel. Howard, general partner of Norwest, tells peHUB that Blue Jeans, started by a former Cisco employee, combines consumer video technology with enterprise technology to make it eeasy for multiple parties to call in and conduct a video conference.
BLUE JEANS NETWORK LAUNCHES ANY(WARE) VIDEO CONFERENCING
New cloud-based service offers broad interoperability between existing business and consumer video conferencing devices- a first for the industry
June 29, 2011— SANTA CLARA, CA –Today Blue Jeans Network announced the commercial availability of its cloud-based multi-party video conferencing service. Dubbed “any(ware) video conferencing,“ Blue Jeans Network makes video conferencing accessible to everyone at any time, any place and from practically any device.
Blue Jeans Network is the first video conferencing service to bridge together business solutions from Cisco/Tandberg, Polycom, Lifesize and others, with consumer solutions such as Skype and Google Talk. For the first time, remote workers, travellers and telecommuters with access to Skype and a video-enabled desktop or mobile device, can participate in video meetings with their colleagues on traditional enterprise video conferencing equipment.
Video conferencing adoption has historically been plagued by complex, incompatible and expensive solutions while the alternative, audio conferencing, has been easy, open and affordable. The numbers prove it. According to Wainhouse Research, there were only 200 million video conferencing services minutes consumed worldwide in 2010 compared to 80 billion minutes for audio conferencing services. By modeling itself after traditional audio bridging services, and making video as easy, interoperable and affordable as audio, Blue Jeans Network is expanding the video conferencing market for all players and tapping into the 80 billion minute audio conferencing market.
“Blue Jeans Network is tearing down the walls that exist in video conferencing,“ said Krish Ramakrishnan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Jeans Network. “What was once an elite boardroom technology has moved to the cloud, enabling interoperability and lower price points. We democratize video conferencing, leveling the playing field for the entire global workforce.“
Blue Jeans Network users each get a private “meeting room” in the Blue Jeans cloud that they can use to schedule, host, and manage meetings through an easy web interface. Participants join meetings by simply dialing a number or clicking on a link. There’s no new infrastructure to buy or software to download. All that is required is an Internet connection, an existing video-enabled device and people to meet with. Even those without access to video can still participate in a Blue Jeans meeting over audio from their phone.
The Blue Jeans service has been in field trials since the beginning of 2011. Since mid-April, when the trials were opened to the public, the subscriber base has grown through word of mouth. As the service now moves into commercial release, the Company already claims:
• Almost 4,000 subscribers with ~ 500+ companies represented
• Approximately 6,000 meetings, spanning 500,000 minutes
• Over 15,000 participants in 1,000 cities in 100 countries
Blue Jeans Network customers span a wide range of sizes, industries and geographies. Current customers include Facebook, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Heidrick and Struggles, Internet2, Partners Healthcare and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“Blue Jeans Network helps us do business better,” said Tanya Sparkman, Vice President of Marketing at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. “Flemings was one of the first restaurant groups to embrace multi-party video conferencing between restaurants and it’s helped enhance our guests’ private dining events and helped us communicate more efficiently between restaurants. Thanks to Blue Jeans, Fleming’s cooking demonstrations, virtual wine tastings, and other video events – including business and social private dining events – can now be attended via Skype or Google Talk on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone from practically anywhere.”
Given strong worldwide demand for the Blue Jeans service, the company also announced today a partnership with Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies. More information on this partnership will be provided at a later date.
Funded mainly by Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Norwest Venture Partners, Blue Jeans Network boasts investors that are also heavy users of the service. So far, the company has raised $23.5 million.
About Blue Jeans Network
At Blue Jeans Network, our mission is to make video communications as easy and pervasive as audio communications, enabling more effective collaboration at work, at home, and on the road. Our cloud-based conferencing service makes this possible by enabling customers to connect with each other seamlessly any time, anywhere, and from practically any device. The Blue Jeans Network extends high quality video communications beyond the traditional boundaries of specialized conference rooms and into the mainstream, allowing employees throughout an enterprise to interact more effectively with each other, and with their customers, partners, suppliers, family, and friends. Blue Jeans Network is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. For more information go to www.bluejeans.com