FuzeBox, which provides online collaboration and communication tools, has raised $26 million in Series B funding. Led by Hermes Growth Partners and joined by existing investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Insight Venture Partners, this brings the company’s total funding to $46 million.
The company is also announcing the addition of David Obrand as its new CEO, previously Chief Customer Officer at Yammer. Obrand is joined by three other former Yammer executives: Mary Pecka, Georg Ell and Jonathan Grant. According to Obrand, former CEO Jeff Cavins will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of FuzeBox.
Founded in 2009, FuzeBox allows users to conduct online meetings and presentations through video conferencing, screen sharing and other features. Obrand tells me the funding will go toward aggressively growing engineering and product teams and increasing global sales. FuzeBox will launch its first office in Europe in early 2014.
Another mission for FuzeBox moving forward, Obrand tells me, is focusing on customer success through a new freemium model for its services. Previously, FuzeBox offered a 14-day trial before charging customers. Now every user who signs up receives 60 days of free unlimited U.S. toll, as well as all basic features for up to 25 participants. After the 60 days, users can upgrade to pro for $8 per month, or continue using the free service, which includes video, screen sharing and VoIP. FuzeBox also offers enterprise packages starting at $20 per user, per month.
“Typically, the way it’s done in this industry is a time-based model or limited functionality model, and the challenge in that, we believe, is that it doesn’t really address the core tenant of driving a strong user experience,” Obrand tells me. “We provide individual users with the full breadth of our offering in the freemium model. This allows them to validate the strength of the user experience and the value they get from the service, before they convert and pay.”
While there are several long-term players in the collaboration space already, such as Citrix, Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Lync. Obrand says Fuzebox distinguishes itself through a stronger user engagement.
“This is a market that has been underserved as it relates to technology that really drives a strong multi-platform user experience and allows individuals to focus on the experience on the product, rather than it being a mandatory tool passed down by the IT of procurement organizations,” he says.
FuzeBox is also launching a rebranded website with its new service model. Notable users of the service include Ogilvy, Macy’s, Starbucks, Groupon, General Motors and Kellogg’s.