Tearing Down the Walls 2004, 2006, 2008
While the internet was turning into the wild west of open innovation, phone companies were growing stagnant, trapped by nearly a century of legacy business models, easy profits and government regulation. This lethargy allowed VoIP and Voice 2.0 companies like Skype to surface, threatening the often obscene profits being generated by long distance carriers. Jajah entered the scene in 2006 and made a splash by using the internet to connect two local calls, from and to anywhere in the world - charging Skype like prices while using your regular phone. Jajah very quickly provided high quality phone service to 170 counties and created a calling community in the millions - virtually overnight.
Ribbit was one of the first companies to bring open APIs to the world of telephony. We asked ourselves, "what would happen if you built a phone company today, here in Silicon Valley". What if programmers could write their own voice-ware applications, without being limited by phone company rules or bureaucracy. In short, what would happen if we brought true Silicon Valley innovation to this century old business. Ribbit was launched as "Silicon Valley' s First Phone Company" in 2008.
Interestingly, Ribbit and Jajah were both quickly swallowed up by major players from the industries they were disrupting. Ribbit, by British Telecom for 105 million and Jajah by EU giant Telephonica for 205 million.