Palo Alto, Calif.-based Jaxtr was launched to provide customers free to low-rate international calling services. It entered what quickly became a crowded playing field. In fall 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.
Many received generous amounts of venture funding, including Jaxtr, which between 2006 and 2008 raised nearly $20 million from
In a fight for survival, many have since been rolled up, including Jajah, which had raised $23 million from venture investors, 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 2008 by Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia and serial entrepreneur Yogesh Patel, a duo that also worked together at the travel site Arzoo.com, which focuses on destinations 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. —Constance Loizos