15 Comments

Summary:

For some odd reason, this one simply slipped under the radar. Sequoia Capital has invested in JaJah, an Austrian-VoIP start-up that wants to be what else: a Skype-killer. (Not that Skype needs any help – not when their client sucks up 95% of the CPU power […]

For some odd reason, this one simply slipped under the radar. Sequoia Capital has invested in JaJah, an Austrian-VoIP start-up that wants to be what else: a Skype-killer. (Not that Skype needs any help – not when their client sucks up 95% of the CPU power on a MacBook and a PC.) I had mocked them previously, and ignored them because well, it was hard to take them seriously after they dropped phrases like “vision” and “ground breaking” and “pioneers” in every second line.

Of course, there was nothing they said on their site which made us even feel comfortable. So they added a blog, which actually helps with some information on the company. Of course I didn’t track them enough because frankly the low-cost dial-back number services doesn’t get me too excited. PC Magazine, is a tad skeptical of these guys. EULA and Privacy Policy is a bit hair raising.

Not that it mattered to investors like Sequoia. While surfing the Sequoia website for other reasons, I found Jajah on the list of the companies they had invested in. Haim Sadger of Sequoia Israel is the lead on this one, it seems, though there is no information on how much investment was made! After googling found that TJ and Euro:A:C had reported on this earlier this month, but none of us picked up on the news. They are now calling Sequoia’s Sand Hill Road digs as their headquarters, according to their website.

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  1. Om,

    Am I missing someting or is this just callback (or conference calling) triggered from the web?

    Must have been a good presentation to raise money for this one!

  2. How is it different from the normal calling cards??

  3. this is no different from a normal calling card or a call back service. you know the saying these days: everything old is new again. blah blah blah. so perhaps that’s what makes it so interesting… ;-)

  4. Aaron Johnson Monday, March 20, 2006

    I believe Jajah vision for long-term business will be very innovative but will differ from the traditional usage behind calling card by surrounding them around services, just as VoIP is to the regular PSTN lines (and of course low rates). But this is a new service which in concept is old but it now has it’s core service that it is focused on future implementations. I like the company somewhat and am anticipating news about them, along with some view of integration visions from the new member of the Jajah squad directors and ICQ co-founder Yair Goldfinger.

    I am definitely looking to hear more information on this company in the future but they are far from a Skype killer. This is just the beginning for Jajah but we have yet to see Skype other than what it was made for either, it is when we start seeing diverse integration will we find not the Skype killer but a VoIP innovator.

    CyKiller

  5. The German news magazine Spiegel Online covered Sequoia’s investment in Jajah in February: http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/technologie/0,1518,402574,00.html

    Main reason for Spiegel Online to publish the article was in fact that Sequoia is a well-known VC, and that some Austrian start-up managed to get their backing. The article mentions that Sequoia acquired close to 40% of Jajah.

  6. Maxine Bingham Monday, March 20, 2006

    Hmmmm – could the Sequoia investment have something to do with bringing enhanced VoIP capability to Google, Yahoo – or its other investments? Perhaps happy to let Skype (and, in their ways, Vonage & Cisco/Linksys) make a market for consumers and then trump them all? And, will all these continue to be silo plays? Or, as Jajah’s web site says about its founders. will Sequoia help Jajah to realize “…their vision of a proprietary application that would cross existing communication borders?” And, according to a recent news release, facilitate Jajah’s intention to “…create a full set of trailblazing communications solutions.” They are not the only ones in this playground (I work with TeleVoce that has a similar vision & approach) – but, no question that Sequoia tends to hit ‘em out of the ballpark, so this will be interesting to watch, esp. since the investors will expect huge returns – so is this an acquisition play for another company in the Sequoia portfolio – thus generating big bucks for everyone? Thanks, Om, for reporting on this. Maxine

  7. hi ! all
    i am so full, i don’t know how to call phone here. Have someone can tell me how to call, plz tell me, i’ve looked for it
    for a long time, but i can’t call it any time.
    if have someone would to help me , here’s my yahoo address: keven010@yahoo.com

  8. maybe i missed something but when i checked out Jajah (just found out about them today) it seemed to be pretty different from all the other things i have seen so far. But i am confused, i see reviews (like http://www.masternewmedia.org/Skype/videoconferencingandvoip/Skypekilleroffersmorefeatures.htm) i see a software client type thing. When i go to jajah.com i see what seems to allow me to make voip type calls from my landline to a landline (screenshot http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtinn/120561691/) in another country (at better than skype prices), and i don’t mean something like sunrocket or vonage. I kinda tried it to call a friend in another country. I put in my home phone and thiers (didn’t read the EULA, trying not to think about it too hard) and it called my home phone with a recording that it was connecting me to my friend. Since they are asleep i haven’t gone through the whole thing but this is very different from any of the voip services i have seen out there. Please Please comment if i am missing something here.

  9. I am really not sure what the big deal is about. Internet activated call back has been around for quite some time and there are other companies out there that offer far more complete and useful applications (though usually with a little client of some kind so you can more easily handle the numbers to be dialed without all the typing). CallKey http://callkey.com/index.htm offers a very similar service although it is quite hard to use. Ring2 http://www.ring2.com (which I use) offers a really cool app that allows you to click to call any number anywhere on your pc (you just highlight a number and double press the ctrl key) your phone rings and when you answer, your call us put through. They also allow you to add other legs for an inpromptu conferencce, control each leg of the call, record, etc. etc – a BlackBerry based service for conferencing control is just about to be launched but I haven’t played with that yet.

    Jajah’s blog is now sporting a new network diagram showing how it works and it looks like they are just sending http requests to some VoIP switch to bridge together 2 call legs for the call and the call is routed over the Global Crossing network. Again I am not sure why this is revolutionary and what is clear is that each call requires 2 PSTN interconnects (one for the calling from number and one for the calling to number) – as PSTN interconnects cost (depending on volume from 0.7 to 1 cent per minute), I am not sure that their model can be that profitable.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I am failing to see the coolness.

  10. hello
    iam from israel but i have problem with your site that when inter your site its write that iam from germany but iam from israel and i can use ur site
    thans

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