Jaxtr, a four-year-old VoIP startup in Palo Alto, has just sold to 18-month-old Sabse Technologies in Mountain View for an undisclosed amount.
Jaxtr emerged several years ago to provide customers free to low-rate international calling, entering what quickly became a crowded playing field. In the fall of 2006, more than half a dozen so-called “mobile lifestyle” startups emerged from beta to focus either on making long-distance calling more affordable or letting users access social networking programs on their cell phones or both.
Many received generous amounts of venture funding, including Jaxtr, which raised nearly $20 million from Mayfield Fund, August Capital, Draper Richards, Founders Fund, and Tenaya Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers Venture Capital), along with individual investors.
In a fight for survival, many have also been rolled up since, including Jajah, which had raised $23 million from VCs, and Jangl, which raised $10 million. (Jajah, one of the healthier players in the consumer VoIP space, hired Jangl’s team after Jangl’s investors — Labrador Ventures, Storm Ventures, and Cardinal Venture Capital — decided to shut down the company in late 2007.)
Sabse, which runs a free conferencing service called SabseBolo, was founded in January of last year by Hotmail cofounder Sabeer Bhatia and serial entrepreneur Yogesh Patel, a duo who’d also worked together at the site Arzoo.com, which focuses on travel to India.
For now, Bhatia and Patel aren’t disclosing what or how they’re paying for Jaxtr, which claims to have more than 10 million users in 220 countries. They do say that Jaxtr will continue to be run under its own brand.