Jibe Mobile has raised $8.3 million from Vodafone Ventures, Tokyo-based game creator MTI, and others to build out what it calls the “next global communications network”. With this new investment, the company says it will be working to build out a network that allows developers and telecommunications companies to integrate technology like voice, video, chat, and others to connect users across the world.
Calling it the new funding “strategic”, Jibe believes it has finally found validation for its vision: that all apps can be inter-connected in the future. The funds will be go towards helping “bridge the worlds of traditional telephony with Silicon Valley developers”, which is no easy task.
The company has its sights on creating an all-IP-based network — such as those that host VoIP systems and apps which are increasingly popular. In order for communication to succeed, Jibe thinks that people should be thinking of it beyond just one application and across any number of services that they use.
In practice, the system would allow users in any part of the world to communicate together across different devices and platforms while on the same app. That’s a powerful concept that could break down the issue of multiple platforms and standards, and it has won important support with this round. Think about it, being able to do voice chat while playing a game with your friends no matter whether they’re on a iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone device.
Traditionally, there is no real concept of a developer-carrier relationship, the two are opposite sides apart in the scheme of things. For that reason, Jibe is giving itself the ‘middleman’ position to help the sides integrate with one another. It hopes that, in the future, it will have deals with every carrier in the market, leaving developers to do what they do best.
There is already an API that allows developers interested in integrating voice, video, or chat into their applications to do so.
Amir Sarhangi, Jibe’s co-founder and CEO, says that before services like Jibe, developers found it difficult to build real-time apps that are scalable while meeting the needs of its users. But the company isn’t the only player in town — in fact, there are other services offering very similar features, such as Twilio, Rebtel, Google Voice, Tropo, etc.
Sarhangi says that the investment from Vodafone and MTI will allow it to continue to innovate and grow the platform. Currently there are around 500 developers leveraging Jibe Mobile.
Revenue-wise, the company is making money directly from the carriers. That means that developers aren’t required to pay anything for the service, although Jibe did hint that a revised monetization strategy could be in the works.
Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images