BT Buys Ribbit for $105 Million

BT (British Telecom) has acquired Silicon Valley-based Ribbit for roughly $105 million, according to various news outlets. Rumors of the deal first emerged on Venturebeat, though company officials vociferously denied any deal. Our sources say the delays were mostly due to internal issues at Ribbit.

Michael Boustridge, President, BT Americas said: “The Ribbit platform makes it simpler, cheaper and faster to build communications functionality into applications, enabling developers to introduce new revenue-generating voice services in hours, rather than weeks. By combining the Ribbit platform with BT’s existing web services, we have the potential to deliver some of the world’s finest applications for communications innovation benefiting consumers and businesses alike.”

As we have pointed out before, there seems to be a lot of interest in merging voice with Internet applications, but the whole process hasn’t been a slamdunk. Dameon Welch-Abernathy, in his post earlier this month pointed out: Read More about BT Buys Ribbit for $105 Million

Was Ribbit Sold? Maybe, Maybe Not

Ribbit, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that is pushing a VoIP platform that marries web with voice is subject of acquisition rumors this evening. VentureBeat reported that the company was close to being acquired by British Telecom (BT), but later changed their story. When contacted by me, Don Thorson, Ribbit’s Vice President of Marketing dismissed the rumors but declined to comment any further.

It wouldn’t surprise me if BT (or some European telecom) acquired Ribbit (or any other platform) to expand across the borders and find a way to stay relevant. We had pointed out that a consortium of incumbent carriers were developing their competitor to Skype. Ribbit-type platform could be used to develop apps for the incumbent supra-net.

Ribbit has so far raised $13 million from Allegis Capital, KPG Ventures and Alsop Louie Ventures. The company has attracted about 4000 developers to its platform, though it is hard to tell if it is making any revenues from its platform. Over past few weeks, I had heard about Ribbit being in “play” and talking to likely buyers, but there is nothing concrete to add.