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Switch Closes $35M Funding Round
UCaaS startup Switch Communications, which provides the Switch communications application for Google Apps and the Uberconference service, today announced it is closing a Series C funding round from which it will receive $35 million. Craig Walker, Switch CEO, said the company will use the new funding to grow its market, develop more UC functionality, and move beyond the Google App environment.
Amasia Capital, an investment fund focused on trans-Pacific ventures with significant funding from Asian carriers, led the round. Other new investors include Felices Ventures, Softbank, and Work-Bench, with earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures participating in this round as well. Including the $18 million in the first two rounds, this brings Switch's total funding to $53 million.
Looking forward, Walker said during a call on the funding that he is focused on "building out Switch as a full UC platform" and "moving beyond Google." The startup moved its Switch app out of beta in January, giving enterprises a way to support voice and other communications capabilities in Google Apps, as No Jitter reported at the time. Switch recently chalked up an undisclosed enterprise win that Walker said he believes will be one of the largest cloud sales to date -- a sign that Switch is on the path to be a strong UCaaS competitor.
Having seen Walker at the Microsoft Ignite conference a couple of weeks ago in Chicago, I would suggest the Switch team clearly is focused on how to compete and coexist with Microsoft. It will be interesting to see how the company accelerates with a Web programming-based platform and the addition of new capabilities and services.
I have no doubt we will be hearing more about Switch, both inside the Google Apps ecosystem and more generally as a UC cloud provider. As indicated by continued interest among VCs, savvy investors clearly believe enterprise communications has room for innovation and profitable market share growth, even now that Skype for Business is officially on the scene.