Video Conferencing Company Blue Jeans Network Raises $50M For Global Growth

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Blue Jeans Network, a video conferencing company that plays nicely with other services, is announcing that it has raised $50 million in new funding.

The round doubles the amount that Blue Jeans had previously raised, and it was led by Battery Ventures, with participation from previous investors Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Norwest Ventures Partners. (A spokesperson told me that Battery’s Roger Lee isn’t joining the board of directors, but he will be sitting in as an advisor.)

When a company raises a round of this size, it’s probably growing at an impressive clip (especially when, as co-founder and CEO Krish Ramakrishnan claims, it managed to close the round in a single week). Blue Jeans isn’t sharing revenue numbers, but it does say that its customer base now includes more than 2,000 businesses of all sizes, including Facebook and 99designs. More than 3 million people have conducted nearly 2 million meetings using the service.

Naturally, Ramakrishnan and I used a Blue Jeans conference to discuss the funding. One of its main selling points is its interoperability with services like Skype and Polycom RealPresence. In conjunction with Blue Jeans’ mobile apps, this seems to fulfill Ramakrishnan’s goal of letting people join a video conference from wherever and whenever they want. (Not that I really stress-tested it — I just connected from my browser after spending a few seconds installing the needed plugin.)

The broader goal, Ramakrishnan said, is to turn Blue Jeans into the top platform for visual collaboration, which he described as “the wave of the future.” In other words, it’s not just about video conferences, but also helping users work together in “visual, real-time” way. Ramakrishnan said that doesn’t mean competing with to document-sharing companies like Box, but rather making that documents and other content a bigger part of the conference experience: “We want to replicate what an office meeting would look like.”

Ramakrishnan added that the new funding will be spent in a number of areas, including research and development, sales and marketing (more on that in a second), geographic expansion (with new offices in San Francisco and operations in Europe and Australia), and building a data center.

And yes, Blue Jeans has also attracted attention for its tongue-in-cheek marketing. In fact, my most recent post about the company focused on a fun promotional video about a fake product called The Roominator. Ramakrishnan promised that as Blue Jeans grows, “We’re not going to lose that edge.”

The company has even recruited its new investors to take part in a new promotional video, as you can see below. I’m not sure Battery’s partners have a big future as online video stars, but hey, the on-camera destruction is pretty fun.