Update: Skype confirmed that it has bought mobile video streaming and sharing site Qik. Qik has developed a lot of expertise in transmitting video over wireless, and some of Qik’s features — recording, sharing and storing video — are a natural complement to Skype’s own video telephony products, which it offers via fixed and wireless devices.
Original post: Skype’s involvement in mobile may have just gotten a little bit deeper: according to reports, the Internet telephony giant has picked up mobile video streaming and sharing startup Qik for $100 million.
The news was first reported by Business Insider, which says it picked up the tip from a “reliable source” who has been correct about acquisitions in the past. Skype and Qik share a common investor, the VC firm Andreesen Horowitz.
We have reached out to Skype for confirmation and will update when we hear more.
In its early days — the company was founded in November 2007 — Qik looked like it might be a niche product that appealed to bloggers and journalists getting more turned on to mobile video. But in the last year Qik had a major growth spurt, going from 600,000 users to 5 million in the course of 12 months, growth that was helped in part by deals with mobile operators Sprint (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile and handset makers Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung to pre-load its service on to smartphones and make it easier to use.
For Skype, video and mobile are its two major growth areas. In the first part of 2010, Skype says that over 40 percent of all Skype minutes were spent on video calls. In mobile, the company has been consistently ranking as one of the top free apps on the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) store, a rank of popularity that extends to other smartphone platforms like Nokia’s and Android, too.
And its progress in video calling and mobile look like they are finally coming together. At the end of last month, Skype introduced a video calling function for its iPhone app.
If the news about Qik is true, we’re likely to see a lot more developments along those lines in the future.