Voice start-ups -- jingling loudly
Updated twice (see bold below)
Lots of action going on in the voice industry lately.
It comes during a bewildering convergence of multiple technologies, and it's difficult to bet which companies will emerge successful.
Following are the latest start-ups to score funding:
-- VoiceVault, of Menlo Park, which has raised $3 million in a first round of funding led by big-name Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (scroll down on this PE Week item to see how players such as Randy Komisar and Handspring execs are involved). It has developed...
biometric voice verification technology that treats voicemail like email and delivers its service directly to consumers, and thus very similar to Adomo below. Thanks to a helpful reader (see comments below) who helped us sort through some initial confusion: We have removed the original link we gave for the company, because it went to a co. with a UK address, and turned out to be a different company.
--Adomo, of Cupertino, which raises its third round of funding of between $10 and $15 million, according to VentureWire (subscription required), from new investor Storm Ventures. It sells a messaging appliance that links your voicemail to Microsoft's Outlook e-mail platform over multiple devices.
The latter, Adomo, in particular is finding itself trying to sell a multi-thousand dollar product to large companies at a time when a mix of other voice plays out there tackling similar areas, including Tellme (where Lise Buyer went recently, from Google), and Zimbra (which has thrown a Skype mashup into its Outlook compatible Ajax-filled software) and Google's initiative with Jabber, and Jingle, which takes a platform-neutral approach via XMPP protocol to allow VoIP communications with other IM platforms. And with Google's Gmail being souped up for easier use via your mobile phone, there's just a ton going on. Yes, these are all slightly different plays, and so they all might have a seat at the table -- but it looks like the move to mobile (scroll down to John Battelle's prediction #13) might begin to parse out who has staying power and who doesn't.
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