The first topic we discussed today was yesterday’s news that Ribbit was acquired by British Telecom for $105 million.
Now, Ribbit is a pretty interesting platform, which many of us have been following for some time. But for anybody who HASN’T followed it, it’s a softswitch in the cloud with integration between IM systems, phone systems, VoIP systems (including Skype) and a nifty API, including flash based client APIs. They’ve got a slick softphone, and a nice deal with SalesForce all of which have been announced since last December when they came out of stealth.
The acquisition sparked some interesting commentary — Om Malik gave it a huge “yawn”, asking why it was significant given how few developers they had. At the other end of the spectrum, Thomas Howe thought it was enormously significant, and particularly meaningful to corporate developers.
We thought Ribbit was mostly for corporations and part of a strategy by BT to embed itself more deeply in the corporation. In our opinion, other views — such as the theory that Ribbit was acquired by BT to compete with Android and Skype — are off the mark.
We also talked about some of the restrictions that are emerging on iPhone. AT&T has said no to peer to peer, but what about Pandora and streaming audio? And how about the fact that there aren’t any VoIP applications allowed, except over WiFi?
Well, Pandora’s gone, but other streaming media and internet radio applications are still there. It seems likely that Pandora is gone for other reasons!
And we also digressed into a discussion of Hasbro’s decision to shut down Scrabulous. Strong feelings were expressed.
On the call: Adam Somer, Frank Abrams, Bill Volk, Jeanette Fisher, Jim Courtney, Ian Hood, Jeb Brilliant, Moshe Maeir