Fuze Targets Global Expansion – Raises $26M, Names David Obrand as CEO, Adds Freemium Service
- September 17, 2013
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Series B financing led by Hermes Growth Partners with Series A investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Insight Venture Partners
Leadership team bolstered by former Yammer executives Mary Pecka as Chief Customer Officer, Georg Ell as Vice President and General Manager, EMEA and Jonathan Grant as VP of Finance
SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 17, 2013 — Targeting global expansion, FuzeBox, a leading cloud-based provider of real-time communication and collaboration solutions, today named former Yammer and Salesforce.com executive David Obrand as CEO, and announced $26 million in Series B financing led by Hermes Growth Partners with additional funding from Series A investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Insight Venture Partners. The company also announced a new freemium service to drive rapid adoption by allowing customers to experience the value of FuzeBox before subscribing.
“Loss of productivity has burdened the distributed workforce for far too long and it is time that changed. FuzeBox is redefining the real-time collaboration experience across teams and organizations of all sizes, in any location and on any device,” said Obrand. “I am thrilled to join FuzeBox at such a pivotal time in its growth. We will use the new capital to expand our technology leadership, drive viral freemium adoption, scale global sales and marketing, and build a world-class support organization focused on customer success. I am excited to have Hermes Growth Partners involved given their experience in communications, mobile and international expansion.”
Prior to joining FuzeBox, Obrand was Chief Customer Officer at Yammer, playing an instrumental role in the company’s explosive growth and eventual acquisition by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in 2012. Prior to Yammer, Obrand spent a decade at Salesforce.com. Obrand will join the FuzeBox board of directors, along with Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, founder and partner at Hermes Growth Partners.
Joining Obrand, former Yammer and Salesforce.com sales leader Mary Pecka was named Chief Customer Officer and will lead worldwide sales operations and customer engagement. Former Yammer and Microsoft executive Georg Ell was named Vice President and General Manager, EMEA and will lead international expansion beginning with the European market. Former Yammer finance executive Jonathan Grant was named Vice President of Finance and will be leading finance, accounting and investor relations.
Including Series B funding, FuzeBox has raised a total of $46M to date.
Comments from Investors
“We are excited to welcome David, Mary, Georg and Jonathan to the FuzeBox team. The funding reflects our confidence in their leadership and FuzeBox’s success, product innovation and future potential,” said Yerramilli-Rao. “FuzeBox has incredibly passionate customers who hold the key to the future adoption of its technologies. This growth potential, alongside competitive advantages in mobile and cloud, make FuzeBox a very compelling opportunity for us, and we’re thrilled to be on board.”
“With the Consumerization of IT movement gaining momentum, Fuzebox is well positioned to disrupt the $42B collaboration services market,” said Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures. “We are looking forward to having David lead the FuzeBox team into a new era and replicating the commercial success he achieved at both Yammer and Salesforce.com.”
“Our global investing philosophy is focused on high-growth software companies with great products,” said Jeff Horing, Co-founder and Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners. “FuzeBox has built a differentiated product that is well positioned to disrupt the business collaboration marketplace. Given their freemium experience at Yammer and Saleforce.com, we are confident that David and the new management team will be able to grow and scale a global SaaS company.”
FuzeBox provides real-time voice, video and content collaboration solutions that allow people to work together more effectively across locations and devices. Leading companies, including Starbucks, NASA, Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, Kellogg’s, and General Motors rely on FuzeBox technology for flawless presentations, online meetings, marketing webinars, screen sharing and collaboration. FuzeBox also helps solve the interoperability issues between HD telepresence systems by allowing users to easily connect regardless of which brand of equipment they use. FuzeBox was named one of Forbes’ Most Promising Companies in America for 2013 and was recognized as the #125th fastest growing company on the Inc 500. For more information visit www.Fuze.com.
ABOUT HERMES GROWTH PARTNERS:
Hermes Growth Partners is a growth equity firm focused on the technology sector globally. HGP invests in high-potential companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. Their goal is to help each entrepreneur scale and accelerate the growth of their business to create value. HGP provides extensive operational experience, in-depth sector knowledge and long-term capital. More information is available at www.hermesgrowthpartners.com.
ABOUT INDEX VENTURES:
Index Ventures is a leading global venture capital firm active in technology and biotechnology investing since 1996. From their offices in Geneva, London and San Francisco they discover and support the most entrepreneurial teams wherever they are looking to build market defining global businesses. More information is available at www.indexventures.com.
ABOUT KHOSLA VENTURES:
Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California. More information is available at www.khoslaventures.com.
ABOUT INSIGHT VENTURE PARTNERS:
Insight Venture Partners is a leading venture capital and private equity firm investing in on-premise and SaaS-based software, eCommerce, internet and data-services companies. Founded in 1995, Insight has raised more than $7.5 billion and made more than 150 investments worldwide. Our mission is to find, fund and work successfully with visionary executives who are driving change in their industries. We provide founders with practical, hands-on growth expertise to foster long-term success. For more information, visit www.insightpartners.com.