September 5, 2008
VoIP wireless provider iSkoot reported Friday that it has acquired social networking instant messaging software provider Social.IM.
The acquisition could enable wireless and wireline users of VoIP services like Skype to consolidate and grow their social networking applications. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Social.IM's service is currently used by Facebook subscribers as an IM client that provides desktop notifications for social networks, online communities, and Web sites. On its Web site Social.IM promotes consolidating "a bunch of IM networks: Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Google, etc." in one IM client. "Chat with all your Facebook friends from one IM client." While Social.IM notes that its product operates on Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh OS X, Linux, and online IM client Meebo, it is still technically an Alpha product. "There are some bugs and frequent updates. Be patient as we get better for you," the company said on its Web site. ISkoot already has partnerships with Skype and other VoIP providers that enable consumers to use their cell phones with the VoIP services. Skype and iSkoot also have a deal whereby iSkoot powers the Skypephone branded handset in selected countries including Australia, Austria, the U.K., Denmark, Italy, Ireland, and Sweden. "Social.IM has served as an instant Web communications desktop platform and we see a clear consumer integration with iSkoot's upcoming suite of Web-to-mobile push services," said Mark Jacobstein, iSkoot CEO, in a statement. "Acquiring Social.IM is a key step in our path to introduce later this year a ground breaking new communications platform that will revolutionize the mobile landscape." Initially led by telecom entrepreneur Jacob Guedalia, iSkoot has recently closed venture financing rounds from Khosla Ventures and Charles River Ventures. "ISkoot is ideally positioned to become the leading push services communications provider, both on the mobile platform and the Web," said Social.IM CEO Yan-David Erlich, in a statement.
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