Rebtel, a VoIP supplier occasionally regarded as Sweden’s ( smaller ) response to Skype, right now is announcing a brand new SDK which will allow iOS and Android app developers introduce Rebtel-based voice calls on account of an API straight into their applications , without charge . This offers a fresh line of business for Catalog Ventures/Benchmark-backed Rebtel , that has so far built a business by itself retail , customer cheap-calls VoIP offering , now at 22 million monthly active users and profitable.
In a single regard, Rebtel’s new (and 100% free) API is an enclosure of disrupting the disruptors: it pushes it into straight opposition with the likes of Twilio, Callfire, TelAPI as well as others already chipping away at mobile carriers’ business by offering voice solutions as an embeddable, cloud-based services that requires customers removed from using voice minutes and on to data networks.
The SDK was initially released as a limited beta in December with 20 developers together with TGTHR, Agile Dimension, eXeltior and Mobisle Apps. Today marks the full rollout, with a self-service platform and bid for additional customers.
“We expect a large number of developers and project that there may be ten to fifteen million individuals using the platform towards the end of this year,” Andreas Bernström, Rebtel’s CEO, tells TechCrunch. He keystones this on the a large number of developers he states have been contacting Rebtel from all over the world , together with India , China , Europe and the U .S . to use the SDK . To date, the company’s estimations have been nearly truth: projected profits of $80 million for 2012 turned out to be $79 .6 million he says. Rebtel states it is at the moment on track to go over the $100 million in sales they expect for 2013. That can additionally lead to an IPO in 2 or 3 years.
The concept, Bernström states, would be to maintain the standard VoIP API 100% free, with that service appropriately aimed at those interested in calling others applying the equal app — just to illustrate one early adopter is the dating app Perhaps, which allows customers call one another to get acquainted. The concept is to draw on the extensive tail of app developers and apps — at the moment at around 750 ,000 developers working through iOS and Android, and covering some 1 .5 million apps, by Rebtel’s approximations.
“In the starting we have no objective to earn money from this,” he states. “The bandwidth charge for us is comparatively small therefore if somebody has thousands and thousands of users it’s not a big concern.” In the 100% free, VoIP-only implementations, customers see a tiny company logo for Rebtel appear before they get linked.
Additionally later on, Bernström states that Rebtel will be presenting a bit of paid elements, exclusively around group calling and charging for call termination to landlines to help you to call any number, which is just how Rebtel makes profits at present.
He adds that larger users of the SDK, with customers in the a variety of millions, will like also invest in added service-level contracts to make sure uptime in the app. Regarding who might be a bigger user, Bernström would not name specific companies but states Rebtel is totally talking with some sizable messaging companies and gaming companies that may wish to add voice services to their apps, almost all with as much as 50 million users. (Well worth remarking that right now WhatsApp is among the messaging apps which do not have voice services; Facebook’s messenger does, in certain markets.)
Offering its support as an API-based wholesale offering is Rebtel’s bid for scale it offers yet to obtain as a separate business since starting in 2006. “That
for all of us this really is an attractive large way since we’ve been a consumer service for such quite a long time,” Bernström notes. “We wish to develop the Rebtel brand as the technology for voice.” For the present time, the company doesn’t intend to add assistance for Windows Phone or BlackBerry.
Promoting the VoIP SDK gives Rebtel an opportunity to make a move else: assist acquire higher-spending smartphone users. Today the company’s user base is all about 60% feature phone and 40% smartphone — partly because of it being a legacy service, and partly because so far it includes pinpointed absolutely at the low-priced user market that typically uses lower end devices. Building a service which is exclusively aiming for scale on smartphones only could help tip the balance in the other guidance. Put into Rebtel’s own smartphone apps, the opt for this season is for the proportion to be 60/40 in favor of smartphone users.
Rebtel hasn’t enhanced any cash since picking up $20 million in 2006 from Index and Benchmark, but nor has it required to, since it’s already profitable and has $12 million in cash reserves to finance new projects such as this one.
While Bernström is not fundraising, though, he isn’t adverse to talking. He says that the investment environment in Stockholm these days is extremely balanced. “People from the Valley appear to be taking road trips here fairly often, so I’m seeing Sandhill Road in this article,” he states. “I believe , like anyone , if the right person came together with the right investment offer it might be fascinating but we’re building some huge cash right this moment and growing at the speed that we want to .”