Cloud communications company Switch raises $35 mln


San Francisco-based Switch Communications announced it has raised a $35 million Series C round of funding. Amasia Associates of Singapore led the round, which included Felicis Ventures, SoftBank, Work-Bench Ventures and previous investors Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures. Switch Communications, formerly known as Firespotter Labs, previously raised $18 million in funding. The company provides a cloud-based business phone system.

PRESS RELEASE

Switch Communications Raises $35 Million to Fuel Growth

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2015 — Switch Communications today announced that it has raised $35 million in strategic Series C financing, just months after the launch of its flagship product, Switch, the cloud-based business phone system. Cross-border venture capital firm, Amasia, structured and led the round, which included Felicis Ventures, SoftBank and Work-Bench Ventures. Prior investors Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures also participated in the round.

Focusing on the way enterprises work today, Switch Communications developed a cloud-based telephony platform with tools designed to give businesses a unified communications (UC) experience across devices. According to a market report published by Transparency Market Research, ‘the unified communications market was valued at $22.8 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $61.9 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 15.7% from 2012 to 2018’. With its two industry-leading products, Switch and UberConference, the company is addressing this demand and transforming how teams communicate, internally and externally, worldwide.

“At Amasia, given our focus on investing in cross-border businesses, we saw a great fit with Switch as our investors include regional telecommunications providers and influential international business owners that can greatly expand the company’s global reach” said John Kim, Managing Partner at Amasia. “This will help Switch bring its disruptive technologies to Asian customers, but equally importantly, will help multinational U.S. businesses create a seamless global platform for collaboration. We are delighted to be an investor in and strategic partner for the Switch team.” Kim will join Switch Communications’ existing board of directors, which includes founder and former CEO of Sling Media, Blake Krikorian.

Switch is built for the modern workforce where work is not confined to a desk and a phone, but is mobile, collaborative and takes place at any time from any location. The service allows workers to be connected to their company’s phone system from any device, be it their desk phone, mobile phone or laptop, and allows users to control their calls with just one click or tap on the app, easily recording and transferring calls, as well as switching between voice and SMS or chat. Switch delivers high-quality voice experiences by utilizing the same telephony platform as UberConference. Switch Communications was founded by Craig Walker, who had previously run Dialpad, which became Yahoo! Voice, and co-founded GrandCentral, which Google acquired to become Google Voice.

“At Felicis, we back product visionaries reinventing core markets. Switch’s seamless solution is the first to bring enterprise telecommunications, critical for all businesses, into the modern era,” said Wesley Chan, Managing Director at Felicis Ventures. “We believe Craig and his team have the industry experience and vision necessary to lead the revolution in this space.”

Switch is deeply integrated with Google Apps, providing single sign on and import of every Google Apps user in the organization for quick setup, alongside an instant company directory for employees to access. A rich social profile in Switch includes recent Gmail messages, shared Google Docs, upcoming Calendar invites, LinkedIn profiles, and the ability to launch a video call through Hangouts on the fly.

“At Work-Bench, we’re focused on identifying companies changing the way that large corporations work. Cloud voice and the broader Unified Communications market has been a space we’ve been tracking and until now we hadn’t found anyone with the capability to give existing legacy services a run for their money. This is a massive market, and there is arguably no team better positioned to build a cloud telephony system at enterprise scale,” said Jonathan Lehr, Director at Work-Bench Ventures. “Switch’s solution is built for where the industry is headed, and given the rise of BYOD and the consumerization of IT, we expect corporations to no longer need on-premise PBXs. We’re seeing strong interest from many Fortune 500 companies and are excited to partner with Craig and his team to continue to introduce Switch’s solution to the broad range of companies in the Work-Bench network.”

“Until now, no one has built a cloud-based unified communications tool that truly supports today’s mobile worker. As global enterprises reach a tipping point in the mainstream adoption of cloud technology, they want consistency across their multiple locations, and they want the seamless, integrated solutions that Switch and UberConference offer,” said Craig Walker, co-founder and CEO of Switch Communications. “Our momentum has been extraordinary as a result of our immediate traction with SMBs and a high level of demand from very large enterprises, many of which are already in the first stages of global deployments. We are delighted to have the backing of such a diverse group of strategic investors, together with continued support from our existing partners, to build on this momentum and more rapidly address the needs of large global enterprises.”

About Switch Communications
Switch Communications, Inc., is a provider of unified communications, collaboration and productivity tools for work, built by the teams that brought Google Voice and Yahoo! Voice to tens of millions of users. Previously known as Firespotter Labs, Switch Communications’ core products include Switch, the business-grade phone system for Google Apps (launched February 2015), and UberConference, the leading teleconferencing and productivity tool (launched May 2012). Switch Communications is funded by Amasia, Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis Ventures, Google Ventures, Softbank and Work-Bench. Learn more, or get in touch with Switch sales at 844-9-SWITCH.

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