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Having entered the CCaaS sector back in July 2020 – Nextiva is not-so-oddly, UC’s next unicorn. Having strapped up its boots up for a decade, Nextiva did not accept any outside funding during that timeframe. But yesterday – the unified communications provider announced its first and only round of funds since starting to self-fund ten years ago. 

Goldman Sachs is the UC firm’s one and only investor, recently announcing it made a $200 million investment in the UC providerThe financing speaks volumes to the weight that unified communications as an industry has gained during the pandemic.

 

Flexing the Might of UC

Nextiva develops phone systems, contact center solutions, video conferencing tools, analytics platforms, collaboration technology, and a lot more – a comprehensive and desired market offering. Today Nextiva is valued at nearly three billion dollars. 

The investment could also very well indicate that investors in 2021 are privy to the unique value proposition UC solutions have to offer and have invested in the industry in record numbers over the past few years, accordingly. At the beginning of the pandemic – UC was more of a buzzword – yet the pandemic has prompted billions in investment from investors across the globe. 

 

 

Nextiva is the latest to receive validation of the work it has done over the last decade – with $200 million worth of affirmation from one of the world’s leading investment firms to show for it. It even speaks to the state of the market which seems pretty ripe if you ask me. 

Nearly two years into the pandemic, we have seen the likes of Zoom acquire cloud contact center provider Five9 – at least most recently. There have been dozens of additional relevant investments, hitting at UC becoming more of a mainstream concept accepted by businesses.

This means – even if enterprise leaders are unfamiliar with the name (unified communications) – the concept, especially if executed well – is just intuitive.  

 

$100+ Million of its Own Funds Invested

In a blog post announcing the news, Tomas Gorny Co-Founder and CEO, Nextiva, wrote:

“We have been preparing for this moment for 8 years. We filed and were granted over 50 patents in customer interactions and journeys. We invested over $100M of our earned capital to test and successfully validate our platform in the market.”

The firm hopes to leverage the newly acquired funds to help enterprises bridge the gap between the lack of context in their conversations and customers. He noted that understanding where the value lies in that insight will remain key moving forward.

“To compensate for this, companies are using 15-25 applications to communicate, manage, and collaborate with customers and teams. This results in silos of data that give an incomplete view of a customer’s journey, which only increases the gap.”

 

So Many UC Investments Since 2018 

I regret; if I miss anything, but here is a comprehensive list of industry acquisitions from 2018 to 2021. During that time, there have been a fair amount of purchases. The breadth of investment made in the UC market aligns with the growing number of investors who have grown to understand the significance of Unified Communications solutions and how fruitful they can be when properly leveraged. 

I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of many of the most prominent acquisitions from 2018 to 2021. 

  • August 2021: Europe’s Enreach acquired DSD Europe and sister company CloudLand
  • August 2021: Backed by private equity firm Mill Point Capital, Anexinet acquired Cisco partner Light Networks
  • July 2021: Broadvoice acquired GoContact, a deal that brought together UCaaS and contact center as a service (CCaaS) 
  • July 2021: BCM One bought Wholesale Carrier Services (WCS)
  • July 2021: Zoom acquired Five9 to leverage its cloud-based contact management software
  • June 2021: Zoom acquired Kites to tackle real-time language translation
  • June 2021: Unisys acquired Unify Square, a combination software company, MSP (managed services provider), and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) firm that focuses on Microsoft Teams and Zoom technologies
  • February 2021: Sangoma acquired Star2Star – taking its UCaaS solution international
  • January 2021: BCM One acquired SkySwitch to further penetrate the UCaaS space 
  • December 2020: Crestline invested in Broadvoice, broadening its UCaaS and contact center as-a-service (CCaaS) offerings
  • November 2020: Searchlight Capital Partners and Abry Partners, both private investment firms –  launched a standalone UCaaS company called Clearspan.
  • August 2020: Intrado, with the help of private equity firm Apollo, bought ONSip to enhance its UCaaS functionalities
  • March 2020: Lifesize and Serenova joined – both backed by private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners
  • February 2020: Sverica Capital Management acquired Cytracom – a prominent UCaaS provider
  • February 2020: Comcast acquired Blueface to strengthen its UCaaS solutions
  • February 2020: Cloud and MSP-focused Lingo Communications acquired some customers from Blue Casa Telephone
  • December 2019: BCM One acquired UCaaS provider Arena One
  • October 2019: UCaaS provider Digerati Technologies purchased Nexogy to boost its cloud communication and broadband offerings
  • October 2019: RingCentral invested in Avaya with a deal worth over $500 million bucks – strengthing its UCaaS ties with Avaya Cloud Office
  • April 2018: Searchlight Capital Partners acquired Mitel and ShoreTel (a subsidiary) for $2 billion
  • April 2018: Evolve IP acquired Cisco Broadsoft partner ‘thevoicefactory,’ and with it – advanced UCaaS functionalities

Nextiva rivals some of the industry’s heavy hitters, too. Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, RingCentral MVP, Vonage Business Cloud (VBC), Dialpad Talk, 8×8 X Series, and Webex Calling are more direct competitors; as of now.