FuzeBox Lands $26M Series B, Appoints New CEO
Seeking to expand globally, San Francisco’s FuzeBox has raised $26 million in its Series B round led by Hermes Growth Partners. Series A investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Insight Venture Partners also joined the round. Previously FuzeBox raised $20 million in its Series A last year.
FuzeBox is seeking to distinguish itself in the increasingly crowded field of communication and collaboration solutions. To help FuzeBox compete with the likes of Cisco (CSCO :NASDAQ) and Citrix (CTXS :NASDAQ), the company also announced they have hired Yammer’s former Chief Customer Officer and Salesforce.com (CRM :NYSE) executive, David Obrand as CEO.
Mr. Obrand is bringing a team with him as former Yammer executives Mary Pecka, Greg Ell, and Jonathan Grant will join the team. Ms. Pecka will assume the role as Chief Customer Officer, Mr. Ell will be the Vice President and General Manager, EMEA, and Mr. Grant will be the Vice President of Finance.
While Mr. Ell will be busy growing the company’s presence in Europe, Ms. Pecka will be active domestically as the company announced they will be offering a freemium service to expand its customer base. Both Yammer and Saleforce.com have successfully implemented the freemium strategy.
FuzeBox may not have the robust platform to compete with Citrix or Cisco’s varied product offering, but they do have the ability to be used on multiple devices including the iPhone, Android phones, and the latest iPad.
Over the next year it will be interesting to see if Mr. Obrand has more to offer from his background besides his experience with freemium services or is he truly a one-trick CEO. Can he position FuzeBox to successfully compete with the heavyweights or will the company be acquired like Yammer?
Investors in Cisco and Citrix weren’t phased by today’s announcement as shares of both companies were up .27 percent and .55 percent, respectively, in afternoon trading.