Given the recent failure of SunRocket, and Vonage's lack of profitability and patent problems, you might find it odd to see VCs pouring money into yet another VoIP company.
On the contrary, investors recently handed over $10 million to Jaxtr, a VoIP startup that differentiates itself from the pack by letting users make and receive calls using a mobile phone.
Unlike Vonage, Jaxtr is attracting customers by offering free service (100 minutes of long distance and overseas calls). As it grows its customer base, it will then look to advertisers for revenue. It also aims to deliver premium services.
Jaxtr avoids international fees by assigning users with a local number. Callers must use this number, but Jaxtr taps into the social networking trend by encouraging users to post that number on their blog or social network profile, such as MySpace and Facebook.
The company has strong social networking roots. Its CEO is Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of LinkedIn. And its most recent investors--Draper Richards LP, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mangrove Capital Partners—were also early backers of Skype.
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