Skype turns 5 years old, what will future hold?

Skype turns 5 years old, what will future hold?

Celebrating ‘five years of wow‘, the Skype team has put up a blog post to look 5 years back in time, when Skype was made publicly available (in beta).

In the post, CEO Josh Silverman mentions that Skype is nearing 350 million users, and boasts about ‘6 quarters of profitability’ and ‘over $500M annual revenue run-rate’.

Skype is certainly doing ok, and it is still one of the first companies bring up when they talk about European entrepreneurship and its successes. EBay acquired Skype in September 2005 for approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration.

But what will the future bring for the free communication utility?

Ebay seems less happy with the acquisition than a few years ago. In October 2007, it took a $900 million so-called impairment write-down against the value of Skype, and it became apparent then that Skype’s revenue streams failed to live up to expectations. Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom even stepped down as CEO.

Its model for actually making money has been called flawed repeatedly. 2008 would become a year of “testing synergies” between the online voice and video communications service and other eBay operations such as auctions and PayPal. eBay CEO John Donahoe told the Financial Times in April of this year that “if the synergies are strong, we’ll keep Skype in our portfolio. If not, we’ll reassess it,” and possibly sell the unit. Rumors of a Google / Skype merger went swirling.

But it hasn’t come to that yet, and at this point it’s pretty hard to predict where Skype will be in say, a year.

Anyway, happy birthday, Skype!

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