I have some great news to share with you – TokBox has been acquired by Telefónica Digital (@tefdigital), an ambitious, innovative global communications company. We’ve gotten to know Telefónica over the last couple of years as they have experimented with OpenTok — and with our push into mobile this year, that relationship has heated up. As we put our heads together and looked at where we each think communications is going, we’ve decided that teaming up is the best way for us to deliver on our game-changing vision.
The official launch announcement is copied below, but I wanted to share a couple of thoughts.
We are excited and heartily believe that this is a great thing for our partners and our team.
If you are a partner using the OpenTok Platform, there will be no change. Over time, we expect to integrate support for face-to-face video into Telefónica Digital’s BlueVia platform, with the goal of giving developers the most comprehensive communications platform imaginable across video, voice and messaging. So, stay tuned for news on that front.
For our team, this is an opportunity to accelerate development and take our technology out to the world. Telefónica has more than 300 million active customers across the globe, amazing corporate customers, and is innovating at a pace not seen before in the telecommunications world. The TokBox team is staying, our San Francisco headquarters are staying and the great TokBox culture is staying (credit tobi). This is a remarkable team and I can’t thank them enough for what we have all achieved to date, and for what we are yet to achieve.
For Telefónica Digital, this is a great acquisition. They have acquired a powerful platform and a wonderful team who have built a vibrant ecosystem of developers, hackers and companies who are passionate about building services that take advantage of face-to-face communications.
We are in the midst of an exciting time for two-way video. We are seeing significant leaps forward in video technology and a huge uplift in usage and demand for video communications. And this is an exciting time for us. Our ability to leverage and lead this industry has been significantly strengthened now that we are part of Telefónica Digital.
We look forward to taking you all along on the journey.
Telefónica Digital Acquires Video Platform Leader TokBox
Extends digital communications suite with face-to-face online and mobile video capabilities
25 October 2012 – Telefónica Digital today announced its acquisition of TokBox, the leading video communications platform. The acquisition of TokBox, based in San Francisco, builds on Telefónica Digital’s strategy of driving innovation in its core business of communications, with capabilities that will now extend beyond voice and messaging to live video.
TokBox’s OpenTok Video Platform enables the rapid development of live video-based communications services through the simple addition of video calling into websites and mobile applications.
Telefónica will leverage TokBox’s Platform to enhance the communication services it offers business and consumer customers, adding cross-platform Web-based video communications to its existing voice and messaging capabilities. This will be offered both directly via tailored solutions and through the provision of APIs and applications so businesses and developers can produce their own services. Telefónica and TokBox will work to incorporate video APIs into the BlueVia platform, creating a unified video, voice and text API service with global reach.
Matthew Key, CEO of Telefónica Digital said, “Telefónica is all about empowering our customers through new and innovative digital services. By adding TokBox’s unique capabilities to our communications portfolio, we will allow our customers to leverage the full potential of web-based video communications in their own business models.”
TokBox launched the OpenTok Video Platform in November 2010 with companies such as American Idol, Ford and Diet Coke having used its technology. It has also delivered significant technology innovation, being the first to add video chat to any iOS application and pioneering WebRTC-based video solutions. WebRTC is critical to the future growth of web-based video communications, allowing for video calling to simply and easily be conducted via a web browser without the need to install plug-ins.
“Despite all our progress to date we are still in the early stages of the industry and this is a very exciting opportunity to accelerate the development of the OpenTok platform and rapidly expand its global reach and presence,” said Ian Small, CEO of TokBox. “Integrating our video capabilities with Telefónica existing voice and text offering creates an advanced real time communications suite for Telefónica’s hundreds of millions of customers around the world.”
“Congratulations to Ian and his team for building a platform that captured the hearts of customers and the minds of developers.” said Roelof Botha, Partner at Sequoia Capital and TokBox Board Director. “This is a strong fit for Telefónica’s communications suite and will make it even easier for hundreds of millions of people to connect and collaborate.”
Ian Small will remain as CEO of TokBox and Carlos Domingo, Director of Product Development & Innovation at Telefónica Digital, will join the TokBox Board of Directors and become Chairman of the company. The acquisition was led by Telefónica Digital’s Silicon Valley-based venture investment team.
About Telefónica Digital
Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth. It is also driving innovation in over the top communications under a new umbrella brand called TU and in Big Data through Telefónica Dynamic Insights. Telefónica Digital will deliver these new products and services to Telefónica’s 311 million customers as well as entering new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Tel Aviv. Jajah, Terra, Media Networks Latin America, 48 and giffgaff are all managed under the Telefónica Digital umbrella.
Tel: +1 (650) 814 4419
Jen Garcia, Access PR
Tel: +1 (415) 904 7070
Tel: +44 7712 020937
OpenTok from TokBox is the leading global online video communications platform, enabling the addition of live group video communications into any web property. Incorporating solutions for enterprises, entrepreneurs and developers, anyone with a web presence can harness the power of live video to drive user engagement within their site or service.
The scalable, customizable platform incorporates proprietary quality-enhancing technology and enables high quality video sessions with up to 20 live participants and unlimited viewers.
TokBox is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
Tel: +1 (650) 390 7666