Thinking Phone Networks Secures $16.5 Million in Funding

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Advanced Technology Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners Lead First Round to Accelerate Global Expansion of Cloud-based Unified Communications Services

“ATV and Bessemer are ideal partners for us, offering significant resources to accelerate our growth, as well as strategic market knowledge, experience, and counsel as we execute our business plan,” said Steve Kokinos, CEO, Thinking Phone Networks

Enterprise cloud communications service provider Thinking Phone Networks today announced a $16.5 million investment led by Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Bessemer Venture Partners. The investment will enable the company to expand its sales, marketing and support services internationally, enhance its ThinkingSuite communications delivery ecosystem, and continue to grow its global partnership network.

The company also announced today that Bob Hower, general partner, ATV, and Bob Goodman, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners, have joined its Board of Directors. Both ATV and Bessemer have been early investors in other leading VoIP companies.

“We are entering an exciting phase of growth as we accelerate our investment in global expansion and enhance our suite of mobility-enabled enterprise applications,” said Steven Kokinos, president and CEO, Thinking Phone Networks. “ATV and Bessemer are ideal partners for us, offering significant resources to accelerate our growth, as well as strategic market knowledge, experience, and counsel as we execute our business plan.”

According to industry analysts, cloud unified communications (UC), combined with the explosion of the bring your own device (BYOD) movement, represent disruptive forces as corporate enterprises seek to replace legacy premises-based systems and align disparate technology applications to enhance collaboration among increasingly distributed and mobile workforces, streamline business processes, and lower overall communications costs. Gartner, Inc. calls BYOD programs, “the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace.”

Thinking Phone Networks is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these game changing market dynamics and gain market share by offering midsize and larger enterprises deeply integrated and analytics driven single platform collaboration capabilities spanning mobility (including smartphone and tablet support), voice, video, presence, messaging, conferencing, and contact center.

Today’s funding announcement provides further market validation for the company’s cloud UC services. Revenues have doubled in each of the last three years and the company was recently named by Network World as an “Everything as a Service” company to watch and twice recognized by Gartner, Inc. as a Magic Quadrant “Visionary.” The announcement also coincides with technology licensing agreements which will enable service providers, technology vendors, and channel partners to access the cloud communications space to meet burgeoning demand.

Key to the company’s value is Thinking Phone Networks’ purpose-built and multi-tenant cloud software platform. Developed from the ground up to serve increasingly mobile next generation enterprise requirements, the platform fosters ready integration of third-party off-the-shelf and “home grown” business applications such as CRM and ERP. In addition, the platform addresses the multi-faceted needs of service providers, PBX vendors, and channel partners seeking to easily deploy and scale differentiated cloud UC services. To these customers, Thinking Phone Networks provides extensive back office service deployment, management, and billing tools that speed time-to-market and time-to-revenue.

Also significant is a powerful business intelligence environment which extends workforce optimization to all areas of the enterprise – from the front office, to the back office, to mobile knowledge workers, as well as to those in remote global locations. This cloud analytics capability provides compelling and unparalleled at-a-glance insight into workforce behavior and activities, allowing enterprises to better address human latency issues and enhance corporate best practice efforts to competitive advantage.

“Premises-based legacy systems represent an outdated solution for today’s enterprise communications needs,” said Bob Hower, general partner, ATV. “As adoption of cloud-based collaboration services and mobile applications accelerates, Thinking Phone Networks is ideally positioned to help enterprise companies simplify their voice, video, mobile, and messaging activities, and integrate them into their core sales, marketing and support operations. The company has built a reputation for exceeding customer expectations because they have built the most robust, reliable platform in the market.”

“Thinking Phone Networks has differentiated itself by building a robust, cloud-based and carrier-grade service portfolio that meets the needs of the middle market. Their solution is well-architected to support third-party applications, offering easy Web services integration,” said Bob Goodman, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “They represent the kind of company that we look for at Bessemer – one that can benefit from the strength of our team’s knowledge and experience in telecom – from infrastructure to applications to carriers. Thinking Phone Networks is now in a unique position to become an industry leader by capturing market share from the traditional, premises-based systems. We look forward to working with Steve and the team as they continue to build on their success.”

About Thinking Phone Networks
Thinking Phone Networks helps enterprises define their unified communications vision and simplify execution of that vision by deploying collaboration services via its cloud-based software platform, driving dramatic business process improvement and significantly reduced costs. Twice recognized by Gartner, Inc. as a UC Magic Quadrant “Visionary,” the award-winning ThinkingSuite solution combines a powerful analytics engine, application integration, comprehensive UC capabilities, and turnkey back office operational functionality on an open architected platform. ThinkingSuite cloud services are deployed by hundreds of midsize and larger enterprises at thousands of corporate locations around the globe. http://www.thinkingphones.com

About ATV
Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) is a bi-coastal venture capital firm with more than $1.6 billion in capital under management. ATV supports entrepreneurial teams in several technology markets, including IT, healthcare and energy, helping to transform emerging growth companies into market leaders. Visit us on the web at http://www.atvcapital.com, or on Twitter at ATVcapital.

About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) is a global venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Mass., New York, Mumbai and Herzliya, Israel. BVP delivers the broadest platform in venture capital spanning across industries, geographies, generations and stages of company growth. From Staples to Skype, VeriSign to Yelp, LinkedIn to Pinterest, BVP has helped incubate and support companies that have anchored tidal shifts in the economy. More than 100 BVP-funded companies have gone public on exchanges in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.bvp.com.

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David Powers