Lifesize to buy Kaptivo, eyes other acquisitions

Lifesize's Kaptivo acquisition would expand its collaboration capabilities. The video conferencing company said IP telephony or messaging could be a part of future deals.

Video conferencing company Lifesize plans to add collaboration vendor Kaptivo to its growing portfolio of UC technology for enterprises and contact centers.

Lifesize announced this week that it would acquire Kaptivo, a move that comes five months after Lifesize merged with Serenova, a contact center-as-a-service provider. Lifesize did not release financials details of the latest deal but said Kaptivo's 20 or so employees would join the company.

Kaptivo makes a camera that companies mount on regular whiteboards to record what people draw or write during meetings. The camera captures the activity and streams it to the Kaptivo cloud, which lets others view the session in real time or watch it later.

Lifesize CEO Craig MalloyCraig Malloy

Lifesize CEO Craig Malloy said more acquisitions are possible. The company's UC portfolio lacks IP telephony and competitive messaging, both of which the company has a "keen interest" in obtaining, he said.

The Kaptivo acquisition would provide Lifesize with products that aren't sold by its much larger UC rivals, including Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Zoom. Having a different product portfolio is necessary for Lifesize to survive in a crowded market, said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research.

"Anything they can do to differentiate themselves is a good idea," he said, adding that Lifesize's acquisition spree indicates it's in "decent shape" financially.

As for Kaptivo, Lazar said the pandemic was a good time for the company to sell. The market was not good for a whiteboard camera used in offices, he said, as many are closed because of the pandemic.

Kaptivo's camera costs $295, plus $17 a month for its cloud-based collaboration service, a much cheaper option than an interactive whiteboard. The company's competitors include Miro and Mural, which sell online whiteboard services, and interactive whiteboard makers Cisco and Microsoft.

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