Posted by Steve Kim | 1 comment
Gold Rush for VoIP Companies?
The worldwide online auctioning giant, eBay, recently sold Skype to its founders and investment group for $2.75 billion. Google acquired Gizmo5, an ex-Skype acquisition prospect, for $30 million. And now there are rumors surrounding another major M&A in the VoIP sector.
This time, itʼs a web-based bridge call (callback) service provider Jajah. The firm in consideration bases its business on dialing both ends of a conversation and connecting them through a bridge call concept. This is similar to the way Google Voice connects users to one another. While Jajah service dosenʼt require headsets, this duplicate calling structure makes them endure costs that are double those of Skype. In fact, at the initial stage of its development, Jajah became somewhat of a sensation through its aggressive marketing, which included headset-breaking performances. It also received over $20 million of investments from Deutsche Telecom and Intel. However, its consumer service did not last long, as the cost was too high. It still does provide the bridge call service to regular users, who total up to supposed 25 million around the world, but Jajah now provides Managed Service Platform for business partners, who have made over 1 billion calls through this B2B VoIP service, as of July 2009. Most recently, Jajah also got on the Twitter bandwagon by launching its @Call service, which allows Twitter users to call each other.
Rumors around this potential acquisition of Jajah suggest prices ranging from $200 million to $400 million. Possible takers are Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and O2. Since Jajah is already an official partner in development of the SIP Trunking Service, implemented in Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007, the software giant seems most probable in becoming a winning bidder for this VoIP company. At the same time, Cisco Systems is also concentrating efforts to fortify Internet communication services for its business clientele, so Cisco also remains a viable acquirer of Jajah.
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