A Danish VoIP technology company called Vopium just banked US $16.5 million in funding, and has a specific aim to gatecrash Skype's party.
Vopium's angle is -- surprise, surprise! -- an inexpensive one. The mobile application allows users to make international calls or send SMS messages for a fraction of what traditional phone companies would charge (they claim their application can save you up to 90%). And, they don't require users to change their current operator or SIM-card. The price of your local calls will be up to your provider, while any international calls placed will go to Vopium.
The app also supports instant messaging (MSN, Yahoo!, Skype, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ) for Android, Apple devices, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and there is additional support for Twitter.
A Vote of Confidence
Vopium's recent cash injection came from Raghuvinder Kataria, who now owns the majority of the company's shares.
Kataria is one of the early backers of Bharti Airtel, a massive telecommunication service provider, and he wears his intentions with Vopium on his sleeve: “...we expect 10 million Vopium users in a few years," he said. "We believe that the market demands an alternative mobile solution to Skype and the fast market penetration of smartphones opens up new and more intelligent ways of communication. Vopium’s solution is unique because it offers the best conversation quality and is easy to use.”
Skype's Not Bending
While Vopium seems like a great service, we wouldn't say that Skype is hard to use in comparison. Moreover, the company has made its intentions known as well, and they include heavier support for portable devices like mobile phones and tablets.
Still, a little competition is never a bad thing. And speaking of, Google's recent VoIP purchase is still hanging onto the periphery. We have no clue what the outcome of that will be, but perhaps Vopium will soon have more to worry about than just Skype.
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