Blog Post

Joi Ito, Reid Hoffman invest in VoIP

Joi Ito and Linked In’s Reid Hoffman, in many ways have become leading indicators of what’s hot, and general predictors of where the investment dollars are going to flow. (Just talking about the hotness, not the profitness here….) Ito, was one of the earliest investors in Six Apart and other open media technologies like RSS. Hoffman’s appetite for all things new is quite well known. Social networking, blogs, RSS, vertical search, and what not – he has spread his PayPal dollars quite liberally. And now they have turned their attention to voice over the Internet technologies.

They are advisors to David Beckemeyer’s new company, TelEvolution, that makes PhoneGnome, a hybrid ATA adapter that combines the new phone (VoIP) with the old phone (PSTN) and leverages SIP technology quite affectively. I checked with David, and he said that the duo were ‘angel investors’ in the company as well. Beckemeyer is known to us VoIP bloggers as “Mr. Blog” and he and I have had different interpretation of VoIP developments. In his previous life, David was co-founder of EarthLink, where he served as Vice President Engineering and Chief Technology Officer.

8 Responses to “Joi Ito, Reid Hoffman invest in VoIP”

  1. PhoneGnome is based on the Sipura/Linksys SPA-3000 hardware platform, customized to our specs and using our patent pending technology.

    Users that are comfortable taking advantage of the stock SPA-3000 (which is a great product) may not find value in PhoneGnome for themselves. That market is already well served by the SPA-3000 and other existing VoIP products.

    PhoneGnome targets a different audience, people that are not going to set up a SIP server in their house, and would not be comfortable trying to configure and use a generic SPA-3000. Before judging by what PhoneGnome looks like, check out the site and in particular the setup and use of PhoneGnome and I think you’ll see it’s a different animal, with a vastly different out of the box user experience (see and

    To this point, retailers would not be likely to carry a generic SPA-3000, as it is not a consumer-friendly product, whereas PhoneGnome is available in selected Staples stores now, for back-to-school.

    The whole point of PhoneGnome is to bring some of the cool stuff guys like us have done with the SPA-3000, Asterisk servers, SER, etc. including SIP addresses, and FREE telephony, to average consumers. That’s more people with SIP addresses, more people we can all call for free. That’s good for everybody.

  2. angryant

    Don’t see how they can claim that they “make” PhoneGnome. They’re just buying a ready made product from Sipura. TelEvolution are sounding more like marketing company than a technology company. I’d be putting my money in Sipura.