Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cisco invests again in cloud telephony company


Cisco has upped its investment in a provider of cloud-based VoIP, TechCrunch reportsRingCentralraised $10 million in new funding from Cisco and new investor Scale Venture Partners.
Cisco helped fund a previous $45 million round for RingCentral, along with Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, DAG Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.
RingCentral provides cloud-based business phone systems designed for mobile and distributed businesses. RingCentral is looking to eliminate the need for on-premise legacy phone systems by combining a hosted, multi-extension phone and fax system - essentially a virtual business phone system.

RingCentral capabilities include auto-receptionist, multiple voicemail boxes, call routing, business answering rules, extension dialing, call transfers, and integration with smartphones. And in addition to IP phones, RingCentral supports analog phones through an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) using an IP link, or it can forward calls to any phone whether or not it is connected to an ATA.
RingCentral currently has over 200,000 customers, including AT&T and Roger's, which are using the company's platform to offer cloud-based telephony to their wireless subscribers, according to TechCrunch. RingCentral says the market for cloud-based telephony is $50 billion.
RingCentral's service is priced at $19.99 per user per month for a company with 20 employees, which includes unlimited local and long distance calls. The company claims customers "regularly" save over 60% on their monthly phone bill by switching to RingCentral from their local/long distance provider.
The new funding from Cisco and Scale Venrture comes as RingCentral ponders an IPO, TechCrunch reports.
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