ThinkingPhones Buys Fuze, Stays Aggressive in Communications

The way businesses communicate is evolving rapidly, and technology providers can’t afford to rest on their laurels if they want to win in this new world of mobile devices, cloud-based software, and video-conference tools.

At least, that’s the strategy of ThinkingPhones, a fast-growing Cambridge, MA-based company that has been on a hiring and acquisition spree.

On Monday, ThinkingPhones announced it snapped up San Francisco-based Fuze for an undisclosed price. The deal marks the third acquisition by ThinkingPhones in the past 15 months, following the purchases of Contactive, an advanced caller ID and data analytics company, and Whaleback Managed Services, which provided cloud-based communication services to medium-sized businesses.

ThinkingPhones makes software that manages phone calls, video conferences, text messages, and collaboration apps through a cloud-based platform designed for smartphones and other mobile devices. The software can track how fast employees return calls and how much time they spend talking with customers, among other capabilities.

The acquisition of Fuze, like the other recent deals, is meant to strengthen ThinkingPhones’ product offerings and expand its business. Fuze helps companies with distributed workforces to collaborate better through cloud-based, high-definition video conferencing and voice calls, as well as giving employees the ability to easily share documents across devices.

ThinkingPhones also gains access to Fuze’s lengthy customer list of more than 6.5 million users across 100,000 companies, including Groupon, Macy’s, and Starbucks. Fuze has raised $68.5 million from investors since 2009.

ThinkingPhones says Fuze’s products will be fully integrated with its own products and services next year.

“The acquisition of Fuze marks an important investment in our vision for unifying communication in the enterprise, as well as in the success of our customers who have come to expect unparalleled user experiences that drive engagement,” ThinkingPhones co-founder and CEO Steve Kokinos (pictured above) said in a press release. “These same customers need to have the ability to communicate seamlessly from any device or location, with reliable quality every time.”

ThinkingPhones hired 300 people between January and September, bringing its employee count to more than 550 worldwide. It also opened offices in New York City, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Zurich, and Aveiro, Portugal.

The rapid expansion has been enabled by a $56.7 million Series D funding round last December, which brought ThinkingPhones’ total venture capital raised to $89 million since its 2006 founding.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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