According to Om, TalkPlus has the same fate as Jangl . Thomas Howe has written an excellent article.
Looks like the Voice 2.0 arena is facing hardship. Jangl, one of the consumer VoIP widget providers for Web 2.0 communities has closed the doors . For those of you folks that is not aware of jangl, here is a quick dump- Jangl is an anonymous calling web based VoIP widget. Mashable has a nice post discussing the whole story. I was always critical about companies (jaxtr etc) that were solely focusing on building Voice apps for social networking communities. Where is the money? What is the acceptance rate of these widgets in social communities? I guess jangl might have found it hard to generate revenue from users that are basically looking for free stuff. Look at the statistics of these apps in social networking community. Its dismissal!
What surprises me is- Jangl had partnership with some of the big social networking community. It had a revenue sharing model with match and advertisement on PlentyOfFish. In Addition, they had partnered with Various, Inc., Justin.tv, Fubar and Revision3. That was an impressive list. I thought maybe match making sites like match and plentyoffish was a better place for these kinds of voice widgets that provide privacy and anonymity. Apparently, it looks like these partnerships did not generate enough revenue for these guys to survive the downtimes. I have gone through startup shutdowns; believe me, its hard. The good news however is, Michael, Ben and 5 other folks are joining jajah’s team.
Here is what Michael Cerda, the CEO of jangl Michael Cerda, the CEO of jangl has to say:
We accomplished more than most companies do on the amount of money we raised and the time we spent on it. And in our opinion it needed another 18-24 months worth of runway to realize its fullest potential; but at the end of the day every venture capitalist has their own coefficient of venture. To that end, we took company forward into an M&A process. Unfortunately with much bigger things happening in the marketplace it turned out to be the worst time in a few years to be selling
I guess there are lot of lessons that can be learned from this tale. First and the foremost, startups that are building applications for Web 2.0 platform need to have a strong revenue model to sustain the business. Even If the value proposition of the startup is to get acquired, you need gas to stretch that extra mile. Need to understand the target market very well. If the target platform is not the place for generating revenue, need to find alternatives. For e.g., Enterprise VoIP as a target platform is a better place for monetizing these Voice and messaging applications than Consumer platform. There are very few players that have managed to survive providing freebies to the users.
All that said this is too Jangl Folks- Bad luck guys! You guys did a better job than most of the startups I know off. Shit happens!