Wednesday, March 29, 2006

JaJah gets love ($2M) from Sequoia

Sequoia Capital has invested $2M in JaJah, an Austrian-VoIP start-up that wants to be what else: a Skype-killer.

The company, Jajah Inc., which pledged to make cheap Internet calls as simple as using a search engine, is starting its service in the United States. It also has an office in Luxembourg and a development center in Israel.

The service works once a user visits, fills in her phone number and the number she's trying to reach. With a click of the mouse, the user's phone rings and the call connects to the other telephone.

Its founders say that many people have been slow to try Internet telephony -- services offered by the likes of Skype, Yahoo or Vonage -- because, until now, they've had to download software, speak through a computer or get a phone adapter and a broadband Internet plan.

Jajah is selling its services to consumers in 60 countries. Calls from those 60 countries can be made to any destination in the world. Jajah's rates will average around 1.7 cents to 1.9 cents a minute for domestic calls. International calls vary. Calls from the U.S. to South Korea, for instance, range from 3.3 cents a minute to 6.6 cents a minute.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Skype, others sued for Racketeering

Morpheus maker Streamcast has sued Skype and its founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis under RICO laws, which are more commonly used against organized crime groups. It's not all that common for RICO violations to be charged between companies, but it does happen. Andy Abramson has all the details, which Om Malik summarizes as being all about the money -- basically saying that Streamcast is pissed off that Zennstrom didn't sell them the Kazaa technology, before spinning it off to Sharman Networks. Streamcast says that the their own deal included a "right of first refusal" should Zennstrom sell the technology to anyone else. Streamcast also claims that the basic Kazaa technology is part of Skype.

Read what others are saying:

Skype sued over peer-to-peer technology
StreamCast Networks claims Skype is using its peer-to-peer technology. Plus: Satellite photos show an iPod-like structure in western Australia. ...

StreamCast Sues Skype
StreamCast Networks, creator of the Morpheus peer-to-peer communications software, has hit eBay's Skype unit and its two ...

Skype Founders Sued For Racketeering
InformationWeek, NY
The suit claims that peer-to-peer client maker Kazaa, also founded by Skype founders, violated StreamCast's exclusive rights to the technology behind Kazaa by ...

Skype and Kazaa named in StreamCast lawsuit
The suit, filed in US District Court in the Central District of California, claims that StreamCast owns the technology underlying Internet-calling provider ...

Skype hit with racketeering charges
Register, UK
Skype, the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider bought last year by eBay, has been named in a RICO case brought by StreamCast. ...

StreamCast names Skype, Kazaa in lawsuit
SteamCast Networks, creator of the Morpheus file-swapping software, has filed a lawsuit naming Kazaa, Skype Technologies and its founders Niklas Zennstrom and ...

StreamCast Files RICO Charges Against Skype
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider Skype, which is owned by eBay, is one of a handful of companies that had racketeering charges brought against it ...

Streamcast Files Racketeering Charges on Skype
VoIP Magazine (press release), CA
It would appear that Skype's p2p past is catching up with them. Andy, scooping just about everybody, has posted that Streamcast ...

RICO Suit Filed Against Skype Founders
Stitch_Surfs writes "Defendant Skype Technologies SA, Niklas Zennstrom, Janus Friis, Kazaa, Bluemoon Ou and a slew of others have been named in a Rico Suit ...

Skype, Kazaa Named in $4B RICO Lawsuit
StreamCast Networks, maker of the Morpheus file-swapping software, filed racketeering charges against the founders of Skype and developers of Kazaa. ...

Gates sizes up the Web's next generation

Bill Gates speaks with CNET about the push into hosted services, competition with Google and mobile computing...

Click here to read the interview

Bill Gates, live from Mix '06 (Video)