Zoom competitor BlueJeans to be acquired by Verizon

17 Apr 2020

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As more people turn to video communications platforms to keep in touch while staying at home, Verizon has announced its plans to acquire Zoom rival BlueJeans.

On Thursday (16 April), Verizon Business announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire video communication platform BlueJeans.

Founded in 2009 by Krish Ramakrishnan and Alagu Periyannan, California-based BlueJeans is a cloud-based video conferencing service that competes with platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Before setting up BlueJeans, Ramakrishnan worked with Accel Partners and Periyannan held R&D roles at Apple.

In a statement about the acquisition, Verizon said that the B2B video platform currently serves a wide variety of business segments from small organisations to some of the world’s largest multinational brands, and has played “a significant part” in continuing these companies’ operations during the ongoing work-from-home surge.

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, a source told the Wall Street Journal that the company is purchasing BlueJeans for less than $500m.

‘Future of business communication’

In its statement, Verizon said: “The transaction will combine BlueJeans’ simple, smart and trusted meeting platform with Verizon’s unified communications-as-a-service business immediately.”

The company added that its customers will now be able to benefit from the start-up’s enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s global networks, with BlueJeans’ technology to be “deeply integrated” into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap.

Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, said: “As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely critical for businesses and public sector customers to have access to a comprehensive suite of offerings that are enterprise ready, secure, frictionless and that integrate with existing tools.

“Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months. We are excited to combine the power of BlueJeans’ video platform with Verizon Business’ connectivity networks, platforms and solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”

Quentin Gallivan, CEO of BlueJeans Network, added: “The combination of BlueJeans’ world-class enterprise video collaboration platform and trusted brand with Verizon Business’ next-generation edge computing innovation will deliver highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our joint customers.

“We are very excited about joining the Verizon team and we truly believe the future of business communications starts today!”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic