Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Call my Email - Yeah, that's right

Israeli based Yoomba has developed what could be the next level of VOIP communication.

Yoomba says it has made calling a friend as simple as sending an email, with no special registration or phone numbers to recall. One click on a hyperlink invitation from a friend and you can start talking for free.
"It won't be long before you hear people saying 'Give me a call on my email'," says 36-year-old CEO Elad Hemar.

The service is a form of peer-to-peer technology that turns personal computers into contributors to a phone network. Users just need a PC and a telephone headset and the product supports Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Gmail.

Unlike many other web based calling and IM applications such as Skype, Gtalk and various IM clients, Yoomba is not a closed network. According to Hemar: "This is the new Internet. It's not the separate, walled-off Internet of the portals anymore," Hemar said. "We've taken the only universal online network - email - and built our service on top of it."

Meaning, you do not have to be a Yoomba subscriber to be connected by a Yoomba user. By downloading Yoomba, you’re granting others the ability to access you with VOIP with just one click, and vice versa. The button to call or IM a contact shows in your received emails , giving you the options to communicate with the sender in one of these two ways.

Yoomba was founded in 2006 by Elad Hemar and Ronen Babayoff. The company was initially self funded, using capital raised from their previous company, Informative.com - an interactive marketing solutions company based in San Francisco. Earlier this year, Yoomba raised an undisclosed round from Global Catalyst Partners and US Venture Partners. It's estimated in several millions and according to Yoomba's CEO "It is the biggest ever pre-product launch investment in an Israeli Internet company".

Founded in Israel, Yoomba employs 20 people and is currently based in Menlo Park, CA - in the offices of its vc investors. Though the service is given for free, Yoomba has applied for several patents to register its IP and aims to introduce a new form of interactive advertising to support the service.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on these guys. Good luck. To register for the beta go to
http://www.yoomba.com/.

Additional coverage: here and here.

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