Skype users have been able to send text messages from Skype for a while. First it was a beta service tested by London company Connectotel released last year, and as of May Skype launched a service available in the latest desktop software download–looks like there’s still no Mac version! Today mBlox, the SMS-delivery startup based in Sunnyvale, sent out word that it is helping power the new Skype SMS service.
It’s a significant win for mBlox, which says it will carry Skype’s SMS traffic over 180 wireless operators. The company is on a roll and last February raised $25 million from Trident Capital, BA Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, among others. I recently talked to Jay Emmet, the company’s President of Americas, and he said the deal was a part of the company’s plans to push outside of its home bases in North America and Europe. Particularly Asia.
Skype’s desktop to text message application won’t likely gain a fraction of the popularity of Skype’s free telephony service–for one thing it costs money. Skype talks a bit about why the company charges for the service, and says the carriers charge Skype, so they have to pass the fee onto users. But even if only a fraction of Skype users take up the SMS service, the partnership could make mBlox a well-known global brand. Something that could be even more valuable for the startup.