BT Buys Ribbit for $105 Million

July 29th, 2008 at 12:00 am

bt ribbit acquisition

BT has acquired Silicon Valley based voip comapny Ribbit for $105 million. BT is a dominant British telecommunications company and Ribbit has been dubbed to be Silicon Valley’s first telecommunications company.

Ribbit’s software lets you make a phone call from a web page, or direct your own phone calls to a web page. It includes ways for you to do things like transcribe these calls into text, that you can then search. More importantly, however, the company launched in December a platform for developers who want to build Ribbit’s features into any other application – including a way to sale the phone applications to large companies.

Using Ribbit’s platform, developers are able to add voice and automation features to virtually any web-based application or community. For example, using Ribbit, developers have integrated voice into and built voice applications that run directly from Facebook or iGoogle. Since its launch, Ribbit has attracted thousands of developers, launched an innovative solution for the enterprise software market, and has begun testing a consumer application scheduled for general release later this year.

Ribbit’s sale is highly impressive, taking only seven months from their launch in January up to their acquisition today. The company was actually built upon years of prior work of its founders, Ted Griggs and Crick Waters. Both had previous experience in voip ventures then they brought in AT&T and Sprint executives, and then married that experience with the Web 2.0 magic from engineers they lured from Yahoo and EBay.

Ted Griggs, Chief Executive of Ribbit, said: "The communications industry is entering a new phase. Closed networks are becoming open platforms and developers are now driving innovation. By adding Ribbit’s capability to the power of BT’s global 21CN platform, we will now be able to give the development community the tools they need to innovate on a global scale. We are delighted – BT is exactly the partner we were seeking."

The acquisition of Ribbit will accelerate BT’s strategy to transform itself into a next- generation, platform-based, software-driven services company. Moreover, JP Rangaswami, managing director of service design at BT, said: "Silicon Valley is emerging as a hotbed of telecommunications innovation. With Ribbit, not only do we extend our presence in the Valley, but we also gain a groundbreaking platform, a growing community of developers and a world-class team that share a common vision. Buying Ribbit lets us accelerate that vision."