Derek Jeter Chipping In For $76.5 Million Investment In Blue Jeans Networks

Cloud-based video collaboration specialist Blue Jeans Networks has nabbed $76.5 million in new funding to accelerate product innovation and growth with its global market expansion in Europe, Asia and Australia.

"They're redefining how businesses should use video to drive leads, drive sales, drive engagements for customer satisfaction," said Shervin Chua, senior manager of Software-as-a-Service and client software at Softchoice, a Toronto-based solution provider and Blue Jeans partner ranked No. 25 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500 list. "Them expanding in Europe and Asia validates them and will drive more credibility if they're successful there."

The Mountain View, Calif.-based videoconferencing service provider startup received the Series E funding led by NEA with participation from new investors Glynn Capital, Quadrille Capital and former star New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Juniper CEO On Beating Cisco Through 'Openness,' Its HP/Aruba Relationship And Enterprise Channel Push]

Sponsored post

"I was captivated by what Blue Jeans' video could do to amplify the voice of our athletes," said Jeter, in a release. "Now after working closely with the team, I share their vision and see the enormous potential that exists for interactive video events and experiences in business, sports, media, and entertainment."

Blue Jeans says it's achieving record growth for revenues and subscriptions, providing more than 1 billion minutes of real-time video collaboration annually to more than 25 million users across 5,000 companies, according to a release.

The vendor provides a single platform for audio, video and Web conferencing as well as document sharing that is compatible with nearly every major hardware and software platform.

"Their play is, 'How can I help you interoperate?' " said Chua. "They allow the user or customer to actually communicate across these different technologies, I think that is the real value here -- interoperability."

The company also launched a large-scale interactive events and experience service called Blue Jeans Primetime earlier this year, which extends videoconferencing with new streaming capabilities to broadcast events to a worldwide audience, according to a release.

Primetime is opening up new market opportunities for the company in media, entertainment and sports, including early adopters like the Sundance Film Festival and The Players' Tribune, a media site started by Jeter dedicated to helping athletes tell their stories.

Chua said Blue Jeans channel partner engagement is "definitely picking up."

"They listen to what you want them to do from a channel perspective, they're very adaptive, hungry, they're eager to work with the partner," he said.

Blue Jeans did not respond for comment on the funding by publication time.

Other investors in the $76.5 million round included Accel, Battery Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. Since launching its service in 2011, the company has raised $175 million.

"As organizations have become more geographically dispersed, the need for video has become more critical than ever to establish and maintain meaningful connections, foster empathy and understanding, and improve communications," said Blue Jeans CEO Krish Ramakrishnan, in a release. "We are so proud of how far we've come in a few short years, but we are not done yet. With this investment we are fueling up our tanks and preparing to step on the gas."