Sunday, November 02, 2008

Jaxtr CEO fired

"VoIP service/social network Jaxtr laid off 13 employees Friday, belt-tightening it claims will let it stay in business for at least another 18 months.

After the personnel cuts, Jaxtr has 30 full time employees. Jaxtr was founded in 2005 and launched in 2007 with a widget to enable users to receive calls from their friends through a VoIP connection while keeping their personal phone numbers private. It later added low-cost long distance and international calling to the mix.

Only a few weeks ago, Jaxtr added "premium memberships" - subscriptions -- to get a more consistent cash flow model than its previous model of a la carte purchases of phone call credits. There's also some ad revenue coming in.

Executive management at Jaxtr says it hasn't spent any of the $10 million VC money it raised in June and the company expects the cash, along with revenue streams and growth, to allow it to keep going for at least 18 months.

Jaxtr's real problem may be lacking enough differentiation from TalkPlus, Jangl, Raketu and other "me too" VoIP plays that leaned heavily on cheap phone calls and free clients, without implementing many unique features."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

if Raketu does not have unique features, then who does!
None of the voip providers can offer what raketu has to offer to us fans. As a user i can make 7 different calls with raketu and much more...why dont you check their offer

Michael Cerda said...

well...having been very close to Jangl, we weren't a me too by any means. We were differentiated in that we focused on privacy between unknown parties that wanted to talk or text. We weren't among the cheap minute gang. What's more, is we had two business models, and were making money a year into the venture. Jangl had problems yes, but they certainly weren't related to lacking differentiation.

As an aside, the consumer VoIP market has been for sale for two years now, and very few acquirers give a shit.

Anonymous said...

few acquirors give a shit...last big related voip/platform exit was ribbit

Big news for one of the shining lights in the VOIP, Flex and AIR world this morning. Ribbit was acquired by BT. The purchase price was $105 Million. It seem like BT was interested in not only the technology but the platform and community that Ribbit has created.

Ribbit has been acquired by BT one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services. This marks the most important day yet in Ribbit’s history. As part of BT will be able to more quickly extend our vision beyond Silicon Valley and bring our products and technology to the entire world. We couldn’t be more excited than to announce this new partnership.
CNet has good coverage of the acquisition and quotes JP Rangaswami, managing director of service design at BT:

"The telcos have lost control of the device. When you start building genuinely agnostic services, when you don't know the target device, it requires a different form creativity," he said. It's a move from closed networks to more open software platforms, and part of BT's transformation from a telco to a platform-based, software-driven services company. "Everything we do at BT is embeddable as workflow for customers. Voice is a feature embedded in the workflow,"