Google (NSDQ: GOOG) responded to a confirmation request with the standard: “We are always talking to various companies about various things, but we don’t comment on rumor or speculation.” Still, the new, relatively cheap deal would be right in line with CEO Eric Schmidt’s vow that the company would start investing “heavily” in startups again.
Gizmo5’s parent company is SiPphone. Founded by MP3.com founder Michael Robertson, the company raised $6 million in funding from Dawntreader Ventures in 2006; it first started working with Google that same year to sync its IM client, Gizmo Project, with Google Talk. The success of that first collaboration could be what sparked Google’s interest; Arrington also suggests that Google made the buy because Gizmo5’s VoIP service allows voice call connections between computers and real phones, and Google Talk doesn’t. The acquisition and Gizmo5 integration could also serve as a tidy way to transform Google Voice and Google Talk into unified VoIP communications service.