Larry Lisser
Larry Lisser is a seasoned startup leader with a passion for commercializing emerging communications companies. Larry helps voice and collaboration...
Read Full Bio >>

Larry Lisser | January 03, 2011 |


EmergComm Entrepreneurs fire up $45M+ in Q4

EmergComm Entrepreneurs fire up $45M+ in Q4 This gang has played a pivotal role in pushing communications to the cloud, and in creating a community that thinks more like the web--and less like the telco.

This gang has played a pivotal role in pushing communications to the cloud, and in creating a community that thinks more like the web--and less like the telco.

What a difference a year can make. Scratch that...comparing 2009 to 2010 is b-o-r-i-n-g.

But the closing quarter of 2010 was anything but boring for a growing crop of entrepreneurs in the emerging communications sector. In 2008 I wrote often about the surge of new blood entering the communications space, many of whom who hailed from anything but telecom. This gang has played a pivotal role in pushing communications to the cloud, and in creating a community that thinks more like the web--and less like the telco.

Now a few years later, a handful of these CEOs just got themselves bountiful top-ups from investors, in the closing weeks of 2010:

GroupMe: What a story. Founded over a weekend at a TechDisrupt event and built on the Twilio platform, Jared Hecht and his team have had the year of their lives. The company, which provided group texting capability, raised a angel round within a few months of the product launch then not 6 months later raised $9M! Side note: Twitter had a good look at them but bowed out when the valuation climbed over $30M

TokBox: I give this group high marks for the guts to pivot to keep the dream alive. What was originally a basic video chat platform built on the Adobe platform, is now re-branded and re-positioning as OpenTok – the first fully open video chat platform for developers. While the world (well, some of it) waits for Skype to open up, it will fun to see what $12M and a channel filled with developers will do with a simple integration tool kit like OpenTok. Their mission: Bring the (video) conversation to the content, instead of the other way around.

Twilio: If you have not heard of Twilio by now, you’re probably not reading this post. In their case--like OpenTok--the $12M they just raised not only propels this set of brash entrepreneurs but also the huge community of developers Twilio's outreach tactics have nurtured. Expect lots of texting-based applications to come from this community in '11.

Ifbyphone: A year ago we wrote about CEO Irv Shapiro and his acquisition of CloudVox. This time, we tell the tale of plenty more funding for the other Chicago-based startup. With well established traction delivering voice applications that automate sales and marketing business processes for the SMB, Shapiro just secured the National Association of Realtors, through its strategic investment fund Second Century Ventures, as a strategic partner in the round. This means close collaboration to build and deploy applications designed for realtors. Not a bad channel....

Ring Revenue: And last--not counting those who closed smaller, non-announced rounds--Jason Spievak in beautiful Santa Barbara also topped-up in time to go global with Ring Revenue’s call performance marketing business. Leveraging the extraordinary reach of the Affiliate Marketing Networks as their channel to market, RingRevenue is helping advertisers prove out--or not--that their content generates phone calls, and not only clicks.

Not bad for a 6 week period. Happy New Year, all.


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.