This evening iSkoot, the service that provides Skype access from smartphones, announced they had received a new $19 million venture financing round to build out and bring to market a new suite of mobile communications services. Recently iSkoot acquired Social IM, who is in the beta stage of producing a desktop Instant Messaging client linking real time communications and notifications to social networks. No further details have been released but obviously both their existing financing partners and one new partner feel there is a significant potential.
Update: VentureBeat reports that the financing relates to a forthcoming AT&T service offering “an array of Web services to users of its low-end phones — the majority of its phones, which don’t have the iPhone’s powerful features. The services will include things like social networking, email, RSS feeds and eventually services like Twitter.”
In addition to their smartphone service, iSkoot also provides the firmware behind the Skypephone, available through the Hutcheson Whampoa 3 carrier in the U.K., six other European countries, Hong Kong and Australia. According to Tech Crunch over 300,000 Skypephones are now in service. However, their recently launched iSkoot for Android appears to have encountered a rougher road; Andy speculates they may have launched prematurely to meet the G-1 launch date. I’m sure we’ll see upgrades to address the outstanding issues.
Personally I have iSkoot running on my BlackBerry Bold, largely to keep current on my Skype chat sessions when away from my office, and have experienced it on the 8820 as well as a Nokia N95. Look forward to learning more about the services whose launch is being supported by this new funding round in today’s somewhat rough economy. At least there’s still support for innovation in the real time conversation space.
- iSkoot Presentation at eComm 2008
- iSkoot Gets Third Party Recognition
- iSkoot Extends Partnership with Skype
Tags: iSkoot, Skypephone, BlackBerry Bold, Android