With the public launch of Switch in January and continued growth from UberConference, it’s been a whirlwind start to 2015. Given this momentum, I am extremely excited to announce that we have raised $35 million in our Series C funding, led by Amasia Capital, alongside Felicis Ventures, Softbank, and Work-Bench, as well as prior investors, Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. This Series C round is important to me in what it symbolizes, what it means for the product, and what it means to be working with the group of people we are lucky to have on our side.
Back in 2012, we saw an opportunity to tackle one of the most painful experiences we all suffer through each day: the conference call. We couldn’t comprehend how such a pervasive technology was stuck in 1980s with PINs and nameless participants. Since launching UberConference at TechCrunch Disrupt, our team hasn’t slowed down—we’ve hosted nearly a billion minutes of conference calls, added screensharing and Hangouts integration, and countless other features to make conferencing productive and pain-free.
While addressing conferencing, we realized that the situation was just as bad for business phone systems. In 2014, virtually all of the business phone systems were still built around the idea of expensive telephone sitting on a worker’s desk that is managed by even more expensive servers housed in a company’s phone closet and maintained by large teams of IT professionals. This seemed nuts to us when we realized that NOBODY is doing all of their work at their desk anymore. Workers are dynamic— they work from the train, bus, coffee shop, at home, at night, on weekends. How does the phone on the desk help them do this? Why do businesses still pay good money for a system that was built for a time long gone by? It’s insane...and a great opportunity. So, we decided to build Switch.
Switch is the business phone system built for that modern worker. It helps every worker be more productive by bringing all the features of the high-end office phone system to their mobile phones. When Switch launched in beta last year, we learned a ton from our early adopters, and we started talking to investors about doing a Series C round to accelerate our vision for Switch and UberConference.
So, with this new round, here’s what we’re setting out to do:
For starters, we’re hiring. We have an exciting product roadmap ahead and we need more people to help us execute it quickly. It’s an awesome time to join us during this growth stage, and we have open positions company wide. Check them out.
This round is also going to be used to fuel investment in our products, such as increasing integrations with other major cloud applications, and supporting more devices and ways to connect.
Finally, we’ve seem amazing momentum with SMB customers out of the gates, along with surprisingly strong demand from very large enterprises. Having closed our first Fortune 500 company-wide deployment last week, we’re now preparing to both double-down on enterprise requirements and deepen our global footprint.
With the continued support from our existing investors, as well as the new, diverse group of strategic investors, we believe we are well positioned to execute on the opportunity in front of us.
Amasia focuses on investing in cross-border technology companies, and has particularly deep ties to leading Asian telecom providers. This gives us global access and tier one partnerships as we expand internationally, empowering mobile workers and global companies worldwide.
Additionally, I was extremely happy to once again be working with Wesley Chan, who I worked side by side with back in 2007 when he led the acquisition of my last startup, GrandCentral, to become Google Voice. Having seen the opportunity then, he led the Google Ventures investment in 2011, and now rejoins us as the partner leading the investment from Felicis Ventures.
Based out of NYC, Work-Bench is focused specifically on the B2B SaaS space with great relationships and deep expertise in providing services to the Fortune 500, most of whom are based in within a stone’s throw of the Work-Bench offices. Jon Lehr, their dynamic and humble leader, has already given us get insight into and exposure to the top enterprise companies in the US.
I’ve been a huge fan of Softbank’s brand, expertise, vision and passion going all the way back to when I was at Dialpad in 2002 and we were competing against them and their Yahoo! BB phone in Japan. They continue to be disruptive innovators and I’m incredibly excited by the opportunities that their involvement brings.
So, here we go. With the fundraising behind us and the future wide open ahead, we’re pumped and ready to keep improving the enterprise communications world. We’re hungry, humble and will do whatever it takes to be successful in making business users happy. The hard work continues, and I couldn’t be happier having the team and new partners on board that we have.
Lastly, I want to thank all of our customers. Whether you’ve been with us since the early days of UberConference, or have just joined us with Switch, your feedback helps us shape the product every day. We read your tweets, share your top issues, and celebrate your wins during our Friday @ Four all-hands each week. Thank you for your support, and look out for some big announcements in the next few months.