Monday, October 15, 2007

Mobivox rings in 11 million dollars for mobile voim and more

I had looked at this company when it was called voxlib. Now Mobivox , raised 11 million dollars in series A venture capital funding from top-tier investment funds in the United States, China, Southeast Asia and Canada. Mobivox supports a rich feature set and the best thing I like about them is-- connecting to skype contacts through VoxGirl. Users don’t have to download/install any client to use this service. On the downside, it’s an IVR based feature. Nevertheless, the advantages supersede the limitations. Also, in addition to supporting skype interface they support lot of other features like local access number and free calling between mobivox users. This might imply; just supporting skype interface from mobile is not a good business strategy from revenue standpoint. You need something more than this cool feature to run your company. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys also fall into cheap voice calling game. Although, it looks like they are moving in that direction.(For those of you folks, who have tried hacking skype code or used skype API to build a skype server for mobile interface, know for sure this is a Herculean task. Iam one of them. I had tried all the dirty hacks with little success. Most of the startups (Soonr , eqo )that support this kind of interface require you to run their plug-in and skype client on your laptop/desktop for connectivity. The plug-in acts like a conduit between mobile and the skype client. Very few have managed a workaround to this issue; iSkoot, mobivox and Fring).

I guess from skype interface support standpoint, they come very close to iskoot, another startup that provides mobile voim to skype. The only difference between these two clients are, for iskoot u need to install a client on your mobile, mobivox can be used with any phones. No downloads, period. If they can come up with a mobile client that can cater most of the handset models, they are clearly a winner compared to any other startups in this space. Though fring supports a skype interface, they do that using the wireless data network and not circuit switched network.
I used mobivox service to call one of my skype buddies from handset, voice quality was pretty impressive.
Also, they support web based callback like jajah. Register with mobivox and get 10 minutes of free call anywhere in the world.

Mobivox supports multiple features, some of them which I like the most are:
• Mobile interface to skype contacts. (Not sure why my presence was still showing offline in my friend’s skype contact list. Assuming mobivox proxy is logging me into skype network, my presence should have been online. )
• Instant Conferencing
• Group Calls
• Mobile to home transfer
• Add additional members during the call.

Some missing features that could have great appeal:

• Mobile client
• Web based contact and presence management
• Mobivox widget for social networking.
• Interface to other Instant Messenger like yahoo,msn, aol etc. ( Not sure how its gone pan out with VoxGirl)
• Interface from skype to mobile. ( Skype will fight tooth and nail to stop this, as it might impact their skypein minutes)

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Anonymous said...

Can you please add a RSS feed to this blog?


Anonymous said...

Once Skype comes up with their own mobile client, these companies will have no leverage in the market.

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