Feb. 8, 2017

Boston Business Journal

Cambridge's Fuze just raised a monster round as it plots IPO path

Fuze, a Cambridge-based maker of integrated communication software for large companies, announced Wednesday it has raised $104 million in new funding.

It's the company's second round to top $100 million in as many years. With more than $300 million in funding since it start in 2006 under the name ThinkingPhones, Fuze has been seen as a likely IPO candidate.

The current round "fully funds us to profitability and/or IPO, whichever comes first,” co-founder and CEO Steve Kokinos said in a phone interview, pegging mid-2018 as a likely timeframe for one of those two options.

The latest round was led by new investor Wellington Management Company LLP with participation from another new addition, Greenspring Associates. Kokinos said he looked for investors who would make good "anchor tenants in a potential IPO down the road," meaning they'd be willing to continue to invest in a public company.

In December, Fuze brought on as CFO the former CEO of Boston-based software company Apperian.

Summit Partners, which led a $112 million round in February 2016, also contributed, as did previous investors Bessemer Ventures Partners and G20.

Kokinos declined to share Fuze's valuation or revenue, but said the average customer spends $400,000 per year. Fuze added 449 customers in 2016, including The National Geographic Society, The Rockport Group and Socotec.

The company's cloud-based software aims to simplify communication within big corporations by integrating voice, video and text – displacing in the process a number of competitors like Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and GoTo Meeting, which was recently acquired by Boston-based LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM).

“Typically we are displacing three to five applications that people use across that spectrum,” Kokinos said. “What we find is that enterprises are just challenged by the number and complexity of the legacy applications they have today.”

Kokinos said the influx of cash will allow Fuze to continue to go after market share globally, with a special focus on Latin America in 2017.

Fuze currently has more than 700 employees.

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