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Skype Snags $18.8 Million In Funding

Peer-to-peer IP telephony startup Skype Technologies S. A. has secured $18.8 million in venture capital funding, the company announced Monday.

The lead investor was Draper Fisher Jurvetson with Index Ventures as an announced co-investor. A previous investment was made by Bessemer Venture Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners and a Tim Draper investment vehicle, Draper Investment Co.

Skype didn't immediately elaborate on what it plans to do with the investment. However, one industry analyst suggested that Shype may use the infusion to improve its free VoIP offering and provide premium fee-based features while it could also license its technology to emerging VoIP providers.

"Right now, Skype is definitely a residential-type service," said Kevin Mitchell of Infonetics Research. "It's not ready for business. The interface is definitely a Beta -- it's still in development."

Mitchell is directing analyst of Next Gen Voice at Infonetics. He uses Skype with his laptop utilizing the laptop's microphone, and said Skype's voice quality is superb, particularly for "voice chat."

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