Verizon Business pays dear for stake in video conferencing as it buys BlueJeans
Verizon Business has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BlueJeans Network, an enterprise-grade video conferencing and event platform. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed by the New Jersey-based telco, but The Wall Street Journal which broke the story, put the price at “less than $500 million (€460 million)”.
If the sum is accurate, this represents approximately a four times multiple of Bluejeans last reported annual sales. It is a figure that Verizon Business may come under investor pressure to justify, says Jeremy Cowan.
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The telco says its acquisition “expands Verizon’s immersive unified communications portfolio”. BlueJeans’ cloud-based video service currently serves a wide variety of business segments from small organisations to some of the world’s multinational brands, and it has played a significant part in continuing those companies’ operations during the ongoing work-from-home surge.
The transaction will, says Verizon, combine BlueJeans’ simple, smart and trusted meeting platform with Verizon’s unified communications as a service business immediately. Customers will benefit from a BlueJeans enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s high-performance global networks. In addition, the platform will be deeply integrated into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap, providing secure and real-time engagement solutions for high growth areas such as telemedicine, distance learning and field service work.
“As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely critical for businesses and public sector customers to have access to a comprehensive suite of offerings that are enterprise ready, secure, frictionless and that integrate with existing tools,” says Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months. We are excited to combine the power of BlueJeans’ video platform with Verizon Business’ connectivity networks, platforms and solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”
“The combination of BlueJeans’ world class enterprise video collaboration platform and trusted brand with Verizon Business’ next generation edge computing innovation will deliver highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our joint customers,” according to Quentin Gallivan, CEO of BlueJeans Network. “We are very excited about joining the Verizon team and we truly believe the future of business communications starts today!”
BlueJeans is regularly cited as video conference and collaboration tools, including cloud-based meetings and large, interactive events that are simple, scalable and secure. The company has remained focused on the enterprise market, even during the enormous uptick in consumer usage of rival services such as Zoom.
The founders of BlueJeans and key management team will join Verizon to lead the continued growth and innovation of the business. BlueJeans employees will become Verizon employees immediately following the close of the deal, expected by the end of this quarter. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.