Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yet Another Videoconferencing Startup, BUT ...

I just learned about yet another videoconferencing startup -- this one is called Blue Jeans Network. (Odd name? Apparently the point is that with their service, videoconferencing is easy and comfortable ... like an old pair of jeans ...). Blue Jeans point of differentiation from all the others out there is that it enables seamless videoconferencing on the web or your mobile device with any Polycom, LifeSize or Tandberg system, as well as with Skype and Google Talk. Think of it as being a videoconferencing version of Trillian.

Normally I would scoff at yet another entrant in the marketplace. The field is crowded -- apart from the "big guys" mentioned above, there is ooVoo, Tokbox and a host of other smaller players. But, here, Blue Jeans Network is flush with major cash, announcing that it has raised a whopping $23.5 million from blue chip VCs Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Norwest Venture Partners. So, at a minimum, these guys have a great story and should not be taken lightly.

But, lots of cash is no guarantee of success of course. Look at Tokbox. They have raised $26.4 million to date, and I never hear a peep about them. I certainly don't know anyone who uses that service, and I personally previously led a company directly in that IP video communications marketplace (SightSpeed -- which was ultimately acquired by Logitech in 2008).