Jive Communications to Acquire Speek

June 24, 2015

3:00 pm

Today the WBJ is reporting that Northern Virginia based Speek is set to be acquired by Utah based Jive Communications. Founded in June 2012 by Speek CEO John Bracken, Andy Powers, and former CTO Danny Boice (a Tech.co contributor), the service allowed users to make conference calls using a simple unique Web URL rather than PIN numbers, dial in codes, or downloads (excluding the app).

The terms of the acquisition are not yet public; however, as new information is made available we will expand on this story.

In response to the acquisition Boice said, “I am incredibly happy to see Speek become a part of Jive Communications. Andy Powers and I started Speek nearly 10 years ago and it’s been quite the journey! We are both thankful for those that joined us along the way, like John Bracken, and helped play a role in fixing crappy conference calls!”

The past few months have been rocky for Speek.

In February two organizations were in talks to acquire Speek, Hubspot and LogMeIn, but were not completed. However, LogMeIn purchased the patent for Speek’s technology. According to the WBJ, “Speek and any future parent company still retain royalty-free rights to the technology.” Which in this situation would now allow Jive to use and implement the technology into their current service without licensing fees.

Later in April, there were widespread layoffs, leaving behind only a small team to keep the service running, and reducing financial churn until another acquisition could be completed.

A partnership In May 2015 with California based Polycom fell through when Speek CTO Matthew Turner left to join California-based Science Mobile. According to reports, the deal fell through as Turner was a key component to implementing and designing the technology that would go into their next enterprise level phone systems.

Lastly, in the past 24 hours Speek’s website has gone down, and service to their mobile app is no longer functional. In an email sent to customers, Speek said “you might have noticed that speek.com is only intermittently available. Due to a situation beyond our control, you and your team will need to utilize different URLs to access your conference lines.” It is unclear if this is related to the acquisition news, or something fishy internally as their database noted there was a change to the domain on June 22, 2015.

Over the past 3 years Speek has raised around $9M from 21 different investors. This includes $1.2M in seed money and being accepted into AOL’s Fishbowl labs in 2012, $1.1M from several notable DC tech entrepreneurs in 2013, and a Series A round of $5.1M in March 2014.

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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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