NEA Blog

Seeing the Future When Video Clouds Collide

We are excited to be a part of today’s $50 million financing in Blue Jeans Network, the world’s fastest growing cloud-based video conferencing service.  NEA invested in Blue Jeans over 2 years ago and has had the privilege of watching the service grow from a proof-of-concept to a disruptive product now serving over 2,000 customers and 3 million participants.  The premise behind Blue Jeans is very simple – make video conferencing as pervasive and easy to use as audio conferencing by providing a service that works from any device with a two-way camera (across Cisco and Polycom room systems, Microsoft, Google, and Skype clients, and every browser and mobile phone).  By providing interoperability across these services, Blue Jeans has become the missing link in real-time collaboration and one of the fastest growing software-as-a-service companies in our portfolio.

Blue Jeans is an incredibly simple service to use and describe, but it is an extremely complex technical solution that was not possible (or feasible) just 5 years ago.  First, high quality video bridging has traditionally been done through special purpose (expensive) processors, and it is only recently that multi-core processors have reached a price point for video interoperability to be performed on commodity hardware.  Second, significant advancements in H.264 compression have made it easier for high quality video to be streamed through low bandwidth connections.  Finally, pervasive cloud infrastructure has made it possible to scale up to support millions of users overnight, a requirement to meet the demands of the largest customers around the world.  The convergence of these technology trends has made it possible to launch Blue Jeans, and to unlock the true potential of video in the workforce.

It is truly a privilege to work with the founders of Blue Jeans, Krish and Alagu, who have realized the vision of video as a “dial-tone” service that would connect the world around us.  Today we can see this vision coming to life, transforming many industries that have adopted their service.  We see universities using Blue Jeans to turn physical lecture halls into virtual classrooms that can bridge in students from multiple countries.  We see doctors using Blue Jeans to connect medical experts into emergency procedures, enabling patients to get the best care even in remote locations.  And in a workforce that is increasingly geographically dispersed, we see millions of people using Blue Jeans to see their customers and colleagues, and to discover what is possible with pervasive video.

Want to see the future?  Just try www.bluejeans.com!

Jon’s perspectives on VC and entrepreneurship can be found at www.jonsakoda.com or on Twitter @jonsakoda.