Juniper Signs On As Vidyo Investor


Fast-rising videoconferencing software provider Vidyo has attracted some big-name venture capital backers in amassing $97 million in funding, but now it has another marquee networking vendor in its corner as well: Juniper Networks.

Vidyo, Hackensack, N.J., this week confirmed that Juniper has taken a stake in the company as part of its Series D round of funding, though it declined to specify the amount funded. Vidyo will use the money to increase its go-to-market activities and integrate its videoconferencing software with Juniper products.

Vidyo disclosed a $22.5 million in Series D funding last September, but a spokesperson said Juniper's investment was not part of that number.

[Related: Vidyo Targets Aggressive Channel Expansion With Virtualization, White Label Program]

Vidyo has OEM agreements with a few IT and communications vendors, including Ricoh, Google and Hitachi, but the Juniper investment is not that, said Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo's CEO.

"This is not an OEM-style agreement -- it is an investment from Juniper," Shapiro told CRN. "As you know, Juniper and Vidyo's platforms both have rich APIs that enable integration with ease. Vidyo is investigating various opportunities to do this in various areas, but it is too early to discuss specifics. We will keep you posted on developments."

Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif., is making the investment through its Junos Innovation Fund. A deeper partnership between the two companies or an acquisition wouldn't be without precedent; a previous recipient of Junos Innovation Fund dollars, video content delivery specialist Ankeena Networks, was later acquired by Juniper.

"Vidyo is an emerging player that is driving innovation in software-based videoconferencing, and we believe its leading technology will improve the experience and economics of video communications alongside advances in networking technologies," Jeff Lipton, vice president, Venture and Strategic Investments, Juniper, said in a statement.

Vidyo's other investors include QuestMark Partners, Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Star Ventures and Four Rivers Group.

Vidyo has stayed tight-lipped about how quickly it is growing, but recently said that it closed its fiscal year 2011 with 82 percent growth over fiscal 2010, and had doubled revenue in North America and Asia-Pacific. It does 57 percent of billings outside North America and has more than 1,850 customers, 300 distributors and resellers and 25-or-so service providers throughout the world.

Shapiro added that half of Vidyo's 2011 revenue came from accounts that have 10X growth potential over the next two years.

IT financial researcher Raymond James Equity Research addressed Juniper's move in terms of what it means for Polycom, which partners with Juniper for video, competes with Vidyo, and recently reported lower-than-expected revenue for its fiscal first quarter.

"In 2010, Polycom announced a partnership with Juniper to deeply integrate its videoconferencing technology into Juniper's networking products/software, but little has been mentioned by either company since, and we do not believe it has had a meaningfully positive benefit for either company," wrote Raymond James researchers in a Tuesday note to subscribers.