PALO ALTO, CA, SignalWire announced the closing of an $11.5 million series A funding round. Storm Ventures led the round.
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SignalWire, Inc., the Original Geeks of software-defined telecommunications and developers of the number one open-source enterprise communication platform, FreeSWITCH, today announced the closing of an $11.5 million series A funding round. Storm Ventures led the round joined by institutional investors Samsung NEXT and Sequoia Capital (Sequoia Scouts) and by fellow Silicon Valley OGs Erik Yang (CEO, Zoom), Dean Drako (Founder, Barracuda Networks), Yahoo's Jerry Yang (AME Cloud Ventures) and Ron Neuenberger (AngelFire). The funding will be used to accelerate the development of SignalWire's Cloud communication platform, a new offering that allows developers to embed voice, messaging, and video capabilities into applications using advanced real-time APIs.
Today at ClueCon, an annual telecom developers conference in Chicago and birthplace of enterprise open-source communication software, SignalWire CEO Anthony Minessale reiterated the company's mission, "We've built the technology core for the world's most technically demanding and globally scaled communications products and services. SignalWire is the next phase in our goal to democratize communications by making this infinitely powerful technology accessible to anyone with an idea. Developers should be limited only by their imaginations, not by their budget for minutes and messages or development cycles required to solve problems we've spent the past 15 years solving."
SignalWire's open-source project began at ClueCon in 2006, and rapidly grew from a single voice-over IP call to millions of lines of code. It lays claim to the largest install base and most powerful feature set of any enterprise-grade communications platform. Its robustness, however, can be a barrier to developers without specific knowledge of communications technology, and it requires significant resources to deploy and manage. SignalWire Cloud allows developers of all skill sets to access the underlying power of FreeSWITCH technology via an elastic cloud platform.
SignalWire's usage-based pricing model features minimal markup on the carrier services accessed using their APIs, such as per-minute and per-SMS charges, a move that could cause major disruption in a space occupied by API providers whose bottom lines depend on comfortable margins on these same services.
"For more than a decade, there has been a need for a strong cloud-based developer platform which could significantly impact the telephony communications market," said Dean Drako, known disrupter, angel investor, founder of Eagle Eye Networks and founder and former CEO of Barracuda Networks. "SignalWire has the right architecture to deliver."
With this offering SignalWire is seeking to remedy what COO Sean Heiney refers to as "rampant exploitation combined with a dearth of innovation" in the current landscape. "We are the original; many of these co-called platforms are utilizing a technology stack that we developed to connect to basic carrier services, then they price-gouge for these services. There is no real value-add there," Heiney explained. "We are philosophically opposed to this model. We have spent the past 15 years on a mission to remove such barriers to innovation and we'll add real value with auto-scaling elastic cloud infrastructure and advanced APIs that allow for true real-time voice, video, and messaging application control."
"SignalWire is unique in that it offers superior functionality by leveraging the power of open source and the knowledge-base community that has operated for more than a decade," said Patrick Chang, principal at Samsung NEXT. "We see great potential in SignalWire's ability to blend traditional telecom, mobile, and application-based communication devices to help enable the future of cloud-based person-to-person and machine-to-machine communication."
In an effort to provide relief to customers using competing services, SignalWire has developed its own syntax that is backward compatible with the leading competitor's language, aptly titled LāML. "We've made it extremely easy to migrate existing applications so that customers can immediately take advantage of our disruptive pricing and experience what a true cloud communications platform has to offer. We're here to help you build your next-generation communications applications and infrastructure," said CTO Evan McGee. "In seconds of effort and changing a few lines of code, developers can immediately cut their billio."
Key features of the SignalWire Cloud platform include:
Globally scalable elastic cloud infrastructure.
Disruptive pricing with guaranteed industry-low rates for carrier services including SMS, voice, 10-digit and shortcode phone numbers.
Compatibility layer for applications developed on using other providers.
Advanced APIs featuring true real-time bi-directional data transmission. Allowing for complete command and control of applications.
Unrivaled support including real-time chat with experts in communications technology.
Continuing development of open-source resources including Libraries and SDKs in most popular programming languages.
"The company is founded by domain experts who see the intersection of cloud computing and telecommunications infrastructure, which has huge market potential. In addition, the core technology is trusted by their existing global ecosystem of developers," said Luis Robles, a former partner at Sequoia Captial and Silicon Valley angel investor. "Their technology has already achieved widespread adoption and unlike traditional early-stage companies, SignalWire is positioned to rapidly leapfrog the competition."
"Storm Ventures invests in technologies that have the potential to be game-changers, and SignalWire is a prime example. There is a reason that veteran SV technologists have come to the table to get involved in this: a team and technology that could potentially disrupt not just the CPaaS space, but the telecommunications industry as a whole." According to Ryan Floyd, Managing Director at Storm Ventures, "SignalWire will bring a paradigm shift, a complete erasure of the distinction between telephony networks and computer networks, and we're excited to be their partner."
SignalWire delivers a cloud platform for building advanced communications products, applications, or enterprise infrastructure. Our APIs, built for developers of all skill sets, enable rapid application development on a managed elastic framework. SignalWire technology is proven and trusted, already deployed by over 5000 commercial enterprises around the world. For more information, visit www.SignalWire.com.