Cambridge-based video conferencing firm StarLeaf raises $40m


StarLeaf, a cloud-based video conferencing firm, has raised $40m from investors including Highland Europe and Grafton Capital.

Founded in Cambridge in 2008 by three telecomms and video conference entrepreneurs, StarLeaf says it will use the funds to scale across the globe.

Headquartered in Watford, StarLeaf is the third company built by William MacDonald, chief technology officer; Mark Loney, chief executive officer; and Mark Richer, executive chairman.

The trio previously worked together at Madge Networks, which floated on NASDAQ in 1993, Calista, (VOIP interoperability, sold to Cisco in 1999 for $55m) and Codian (on-premise video bridging with interoperability, sold to Tandberg in 2007 for $270m).

Speaking about the funding, Loney, said: “Enterprises are shifting towards video as it is a much better means of communication than a voice call or conference. However, businesses often have a variety of legacy systems making it difficult to connect with customers and suppliers who may have different systems.

“Our cloud service solves these issues, while taking away the pain of running your own back-end systems. This new funding will take us through our investment phase and give us the working capital we need to reach our potential in markets around the world,” said Loney.

StarLeaf began selling cloud-based services to clients four years ago and claims it has seen rapid growth within the enterprise segment. The firm says it has doubled its headcount in the past 18 months to 130 people and plans to do the same again in the very near future.

Laurence Garrett, partner at Highland Europe, who will join StarLeaf as a non-executive director, said he was thrilled to invest in the company. “I have followed Mark Richer and the team for 12 years and have been a StarLeaf customer since 2013.

“StarLeaf has built its solution from the ground up, which gives it a real advantage in ease of use and quality. It offers real interoperability between different vendors which is unique in this market place and is delivering really high quality calls and a brilliant level of service,” added the partner.

Oliver Thomas, partner and co-founder at Grafton Capital, who will also become a non-executive director of StarLeaf, added: “After many years pursuing the opportunity to work together, it is a privilege to be investing alongside these excellent people and world class technologists. StarLeaf is improving the quality of business communications around the world and we are proud to be supporting its expansion.”