Fuze, a cloud video conferencing company 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 persistent project workspaces for distributed teams so they can stay connected, create and share content, meet together live and maintain context across the lifecycle of a project.
The company also 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.
LiveMinutes Integration, Controlled Beta and Next Steps
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.
More information on the integration of Fuze and LiveMinutes can be found Fuze Spaces.
The acquisition of LiveMinutes will provide Fuze, and its users, a critical component required to create more meaningful collaboration experiences. Rather than just offering realtime experiences through video conferencing, chat and audio, LiveMinutes will permit them to engage across the meeting lifecycle. What happens before the meeting, during the meeting and after the meeting, call be brought together holistically. The two products will also be well-placed as more generalized team tools beyond the “meeting” space.
I had the opportunity to brief with Fuze yesterday, and found their vision of a complete meeting solution intriguing. Too many vendors concentrate on a single, or focused set of features, and fail to think about the totality of the work experience. This leads their customers to seek complementary products that may introduce overlapping functions and information silos. The identification of a strategic need by Fuze for a asynchronous product to complement its investments in realtime communication provides new, and important, insight into the company’s vision.
It is interesting to note, that while Fuze and LiveMinutes have only been coordinating their efforts for a few weeks, and I think they were surprised by how quickly their technical synergies complemented the two company’s shared visions. This bodes well for the speed with which new features may be incorporated.
Conversations don’t take place in silos. Documents need to shift between editing and reviewing and sharing. Activity creates context and traditionally, that is something lost of realtime tools. When a meeting is over, it is just over. Fuze gets when it comes to meetings, teams need to prepare, conduct and connect. Meetings are an experience, an experience too often under invested in planning and follow-up, and over invested in making up for the lack of planning. This type of technology should help, but those using the technology will still need to take responsibility for employing it effectively.
I look forward to seeing how the early synergies shared in today’s announcements evolve over the coming months.