Fuze Acquires Team Collaboration Platform LiveMinutes; Raises $20M from Hermes Growth Partners

Fuze expands from HD meetings to broader distributed team collaboration

May 20, 2015, 07:30 ET from Fuze

SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Fuze, the cloud video conferencing company reinventing how distributed teams work, today announced the acquisition of LiveMinutes, an online team workspace platform, as well as $20 million in additional funding from Hermes Growth Partners. With LiveMinutes, Fuze will expand its platform to include a persistent project workspace for distributed teams to stay connected, create and share content, meet together live and maintain context across the lifecycle of a project.

More than 100,000 companies use Fuze today to make meetings more meaningful, including Groupon, Starbucks, Macy's.com and Thoughtworks. Fuze helps distributed teams work across distances through HD-quality voice and video conferencing and content sharing across devices, desktops and meeting rooms. The acquisition of LiveMinutes will advance Fuze's mission to create the ultimate collaborative workspace for teams -- one that connects the ongoing conversations, content and context around projects, including meetings.

Building on Accelerating Momentum
Today's news comes on the heels of a banner year for Fuze. Specifically, the company reported the following momentum over the past year:

  • 100 percent growth in the number of companies using Fuze, which now exceeds 100,000 organizations and users in over 185 countries.
  • 6.5 million people used Fuze, a 100 percent increase year over year.
  • Nearly two million minutes of meetings are run through Fuze every workday. Fuze has facilitated more than 1.2 billion meeting minutes since inception.

"Customers tell us they are frustrated by outdated conferencing tools and the multiplication of the new breed of team messaging apps that create even more fragmented streams of conversations," said Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, Fuze CEO. "Distributed teams are the new norm, but many of these new technologies make it harder to collaborate in any kind of meaningful way. Integrating LiveMinutes is our first step in giving teams all the tools they need to stay in touch and collaborate -- in and out of meetings -- on one unified platform, which is something not available with any product today."

"Currently the processes that occur before, during and after meetings are not very connected or collaborative. Tasks such as organizing the content, the participants, the agenda, the notes and the follow-ups occur across a variety of tools with very little context," says Alan Lepofsky, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research. "Customers are looking for ways to seamlessly bring together communication, collaboration and conferencing to enable people to work effectively together."

Making Virtual Meetings More Productive
The synergy of the combined Fuze and LiveMinutes teams will be felt almost immediately. Starting today, the company is piloting an initial integration of the two products with a select group of key customers. Next month, Fuze will add Collaborative Notes, a new feature based on LiveMinutes to help teams track discussions and tasks beyond meetings. The fully integrated product experience is planned for general availability later this year.

The two companies combined already integrate with commonly used applications including Box, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Google Drive and others, ensuring teams can collaborate in real-time in one space-- rather than multiple channels-- without giving up what already works.

The LiveMinutes co-founders, Kemal El Moujahid (CEO) and Alexis Dufetel (COO), have joined the Fuze leadership team and Kemal will now lead product strategy for Fuze.

"Providing an awesome HD meeting experience as a seamless piece of the LiveMinutes platform was always on our roadmap, but building a globally scalable real-time platform like Fuze is a hard problem to solve," says Kemal. "With our joint resources, Fuze can now deliver what distributed teams really need - a platform that brings all of their project collaboration together, including what happens in meetings."

More information on the integration of Fuze and LiveMinutes can be found here.

About LiveMinutes
Founded in 2011 by Kemal El Moujahid and Alexis Dufetel, LiveMinutes is a cloud-based platform for collaborative team workspaces. With persistent group chat, project workspaces, and integrated document sharing and collaboration, it fills the gap between traditional web conferencing, project management (Basecamp) and document sharing (Google Docs, DropBox, Box, Email). The LiveMinutes team members in San Francisco and Paris, France have joined the Fuze team.

About Fuze
Fuze is solving the collaboration challenges of today's highly distributed teams and mobile workforce by reinventing visual communication and collaboration in the workplace. Available across multiple platforms, Fuze offers high-definition video conferencing across desktop web app, tablets, iPhone and Android, or Fuze Rooms. Fuze also connects with legacy video conferencing systems and offers a significantly lower total cost of ownership compared to traditional conferencing products and services. Leading organizations such as Thoughtworks, Groupon, Macys.com, Starbucks, Evernote and University of California Office of the President are standardizing on Fuze because of its seamless voice, video and content capabilities across devices, desktop and meeting rooms. Try Fuze free at www.fuze.com.