The Blue Jeans Network said on Wednesday that it has secured an additional $50 million in new funding led by Battery Ventures, along with previous investors Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Norwest Venture Partners.
The company also said it has surpassed 2,000 businesses and 3 million participants consuming more than 100 million minutes annually. Thus the funding, now totaling near $100 million, will accelerate this growth domestically and worldwide by enabling the company to establish new offices in San Francisco and new operations in Europe and Australia.
Blue Jeans provides a cloud-based video conferencing service that enables users to connect up to 25 people in a single video conferencing environment (soon up to 50). Thus businesses and customers can come together from across the globe through audio and video, and even share their desktop and videos to a certain extent. All users need is a video conferencing device and someone to interact with, but to host a meeting, users will need a Blue Jeans account.
"All parties can easily connect to the same Blue Jeans meeting using their platform of choice," the company claims. "So whether you use Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize, Microsoft Lync, Skype, or Google Video Chat -- to name a few -- you can easily collaborate with co-workers, customers and partners. You can even connect through your browser or mobile device."
To join a conference, users simply log into Blue Jeans, enter the meeting, and choose the preferred video source. On an iPhone or iPad, users can load up Blue Jean's native app, hit the Join Meeting function, and enter the Meeting ID. This app provides built-in video support, but iOS device owners also have the option of using Jabber and a number of other clients. For Android, the Polycom RealPresence app seems to be the default client given that Google Hangouts, formerly Google Talk, isn't working correctly with the service.
Yet, how do these mobile apps connect to the meeting? "Each one connects differently," a rep told Tom's IT Pro. "Polycom, Lifesize and others are Room Systems. They go by an established IP address, and then get a pairing code to a computer. This lets the Room System know it's loyalty to the meeting and joins in. Others just connect through a web browser or in the case of the mobile phones through apps. You can log in through your phone's browser. It's the Room Systems that you need a pairing code for."
Regardless of how everything ties together to bridge desktop and mobile communication on a global scale, Blue Jeans promises an easy, frustration-free experience whether users converse through their browser or Apple iPhone. Users can share everything from slides to trailers to budget tracking spreadsheets. And now with a new round of funding, the Blue Jeans service should become even more feature-rich.
"Our new way of thinking has captured more than one-third of the video conferencing services market in just two years," said Krish Ramakrishnan, co-founder and CEO of Blue Jeans Network. "With billions of camera-enabled devices in the workforce, all it takes is Blue Jeans to turn any internet connection into a more impactful face-to-face meeting. Our aim is to transform every distributed meeting into a video meeting, and continue to push the boundaries of visual business collaboration."
For more information about the Blue Jeans Network, head here.
Kevin Parrish is a contributing editor and writer for Tom's Hardware,Tom's Games and Tom's Guide. He's also a graphic artist, CAD operator and network administrator.
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