Following Speek Exit, What Comes Next?

July 6, 2015

7:08 pm

There is no doubt that 2015 has been a bumpy year for Washington DC based Speek, but with an acquisition by Jive Communications there is a silver lining. In a followup to our piece breaking the acquisition news in June, we spoke with Speek COO Konrad Waliszewski about what comes next for him and the company.

Konrad Waliszewski“We’re excited to be acquired by Jive. They have a rapidly growing business with a strong unified communication suite that Speek fits in with perfectly. We’ve worked closely with Jive executive team for some time now and have gotten to know them well. They’re all extremely sharp and great people, so we are excited to have the opportunity to work with them in our shared goal to make meetings and communication much more efficient,” said Waliszewski.

First and foremost, the specific details of the acquisition will remain confidential, so the amount paid will remain private. “We’re bound by the purchase agreement to keep all deal terms confidential,” said Waliszewski.

However, Jive Communications hired a lot of the remaining Speek employees. “Some of the others ended up pursuing other exciting opportunities / roles that came up,” said Waliszewski. “I’m currently consulting with Jive to ensure a smooth business transition.”

At the completion of the transition, Waliszewski who is also a prolific traveler, will be getting back to what he loves most. Towards the end of July he will be traveling to South America and adding more pins on his map with a mission to visit every country in the world. He is also starting a new project that mirrors his traveling interest. “I’ve started working on a new project in the travel space that I plan to launch soon. After visiting ~60 countries, it’s the app that I always wished I had when traveling,” said Waliszewski.

Regarding the rumors that LogMeIn purchased the technology patent behind Speek, the company can not confirm the news. However, Waliszewski was able to confirm that any past deals will not interfere with Speek’s ability to continue operations and service under Jive Communications. This does run in parallel to what was rumored to be part of the initial Polycom deal, and allow in this case for Jive to continue to use the technology without any licensing fees.

Speek’s product itself will live on, and according to Jive Communications’ site states that billing will continue to run the same way as in the past, which could change in the future.

“Speek’s product will continue to live on and operate on a standalone basis for existing and new customers. It will be offered to Jive’s customers as part of their robust product offering, as will Jive’s products to Speek customers. Over time, there will be even deeper integration with the product and technology. However, exact details are still to be determined as Jive wants to make sure that any integration or offering provides the best possible customer experience for both existing Speek and Jive customers,” said Waliszewski.

When asked about the current state of tech startups, Waliszewski reaffirms what many the majority of others will continue to face. “There is no magical guide to make a business successful, and it’s never easy keeping things consistent or fighting to grow organically + investors.”

Lastly, a source close to Speek confirmed that the recent issue with their original domain (speek.com) is unrelated to the acquisition. According to the source there is a legal dispute on the domain that is being handled by Jive Communications. Speek promptly moved services over to a temporary domain (speekcall.com), but are working to bring back the original. In an email this afternoon from Speek’s Director of Customer Success, Whitney Santini, she stated, “we sincerely apologize for the difficulty that this has caused you. A lot of things happened at the same time, and we’ve done our best to communicate with our users. We realize not everyone was made aware of the issues as quickly as we would have wanted.”

Editor’s Note: NextGen Angels invested in Speek and Tech.Co cofounders Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo are a part of that group though they did not personally participate in the funding round. 

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world. He also runs a non-profit, Digital District, which focuses on improving professional digital literacy in DC. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.

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