Here’s why Atlassian bought a French video conferencing company

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar. Image: Supplied.

Atlassian today acquired French video company Blue Jimp after starting negotiations in December.

The company rolled out a one-to-one video feature to users last year but before the release, Hipchat was solely focussed on chat and text-based communication. And, of course, creative – and customisable – emoticons. (Mindblown).

Bernardo de Albergaria, Atlassian’s vice president and general manager of the Collaboration business unit (which looks after HipChat) told Business Insider the problem with HipChat’s previous focus was for users to conduct a video chat between teams, people had to jump on external tools like Google Hangout or Skype. So the company made the decision to add the video chat as a native feature.

“The team communication market is absolutely exploding. Before, internal team communication was pretty much exclusively the domain of email and then consumer chat applications such as Skype and Yahoo started entering the workplace, but really they’re still consumer applications which can’t be used by teams and companies effectively and that’s why HipChat was started,” he said.

It took Hipchat three years to process 1 billion messages, one year to get to 3 billion messages and now, in less than 6 months, to pass 5 billion messages.

To ensure that growth continues, the company started to look at different technologies last year, made a short list and started reaching out to a few companies.

“We initiated internal research of all the different providers in the market,” de Albergaria said. “We came up with a shortlist and then we called a short list of providers and had several conversations.”

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, however, de Albergaria said it was a full acquisition.

He said Blue Jimp stood out because the tech meant realtime communication could happen within a browser — you don’t have to download anything.

“The architecture was one of the best in the market at providing group communication,” he told Business Insider.