LogMeIn Buys Zamurai To Enhance Mobile Collaboration Biz
Boston-based LogMeIn is looking to strengthen the features of its online collaboration and meeting app join.me by purchasing Zamurai, a San Francisco-based startup that makes a popular whiteboard app for the iPad.
As of Thursday the Zamurai app was still available in the iTunes App Store. LogMeIn, however, said that in the future the technology -- which has now been integrated into new versions of join.me’s apps for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch -- will be offered exclusively through join.me.
According to LogMeIn, the deal actually closed in late 2014, but was only disclosed this week. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. LogMeIn provides SaaS-based remote connectivity, collaboration, and support solutions for mobile operators, handset OEMs, small and medium-size businesses, IT service providers, and consumers.
Two-year-old Zamurai builds mobile-first real-time visual collaboration solutions aimed at helping to capture and share ideas and conversations. Mobile Whiteboard has drawn praise among mobile users for its library of images, lines and shapes as well as its a drawing tool and infinite canvas.
In addition to whiteboarding, Zamurai has been refining other technologies for real-time visual collaboration. The personnel presumably joining LogMeIn could point to upcoming enhancements for join.me.
With cloud-based services becoming more essential and network connectivity becoming faster and more reliable, the field for join.me is becoming more competitive. Slack, an online communication/collaboration platform, recently bought Screenhero, which, like join.me, is a screen-sharing and voice chat service bringing users together from remote locations to work on documents that are local to one user or another.
We contacted TJ Keitt, a senior analyst with Forrester, to get his thoughts about the acquisition. He told us that in acquiring Zamurai, LogMeIn is adding a feature -- whiteboarding -- that has been a staple in older conferencing platforms such as WebEx.
"Zamurai being a mobile app provides an interesting wrinkle to this capability, as I don't believe whiteboarding is a common feature in the mobile app many Web conferencing vendors currently provide," Keitt said. "So, this could be an important point of differentiation for customers who value this sort of feature."
However, the more important element to this deal is the talent acquisition, Keitt said.
"Apparently the Zamurai team was also working on visual communications, and they've created a popular, intuitive mobile app for an underserved use case," he said. "There's a lot of good ideas pent up in that team that LogMeIn can use as it builds up join.me to more fully compete against WebEx and GoToMeeting."
In a statement, LogMeIn CEO Bill Wagner said that mobile innovation is a key focus for join.me, and that a true mobile-first approach means taking advantage of the benefits of mobile to boost collaboration -- not just duplicating desktop or in-person experiences on a mobile device.
This is LogMeIn’s fifth acquisition. Before Zamurai, the company's most recent buy was Meldium to improve security with single-sign-on management for its services.