VocalTec, suffers the curse of the Tech Pioneer

In Silicon Valley, being the tech pioneer doesn’t necessarily mean success. Netscape comes to mind, and so do countless other products. Another company that has one blazed the path for countless others in the hotter-than-Oakland Athletics VoIP-business is Vocaltec. Despite an all around boom in the demand for VoIP related products ($5.8 billion in carrier spending by 2010) the company has fallen on hard times and is desperate for a cash infusion.

The softswitch/media gateway vendor which is as old as “Mr. VoIP” his self, has seen its revenues dwindle to $1.1 million a quarter, and if something drastic doesn’t happen, well things could get worse. They are burning $3 million a quarter. You know where this one is headed.

Despite being a pioneer, VocalTec failed to keep up with the times and technology. Its revenues peaked in 2000 at around $38 million and since then have taken a swoon like the New York Mets normally do every year. It has taken them too long to get on the SIP bandwagon, and well you know that’s not such a good idea. They have changed their tune, but a classic case of too little, too late. The only good news is that Jeff Pulver has promised to buy an equity stake in the company, but will he be a white knight for the company?

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