Cloud Communication Platform Twilio Raises $12M

Twilio, a cloud communications platform, announced it has raised $12 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The San Francisco company allows other developers to build on top of its pay-as-go telecommunications platform, creating a wide array of text and phone-based applications.

GroupMe, Fast Society Create Private Mobile Social Networks

New York start-ups GroupMe and Fast Society, which both rolled out in the last couple months, are tapping into our phone contact lists to provide people with a simple way to coordinate and communicate with a small pack of roving friends.

Got a Twilio-based App? Get Some Investment Dollars

Twilio, a web-based VoIP development platform, is going to get a boost, thanks to one of its investors: Dave McClure and his fund, 500 Startups. Twilio, a San Franciso-based startup, allows web-app developers to add voice-related functionality to their web apps.

Voxeo Gobbles Up Teleku

Voxeo Corp, the Orlando, Florida-based IP telephony company behind Tropo web-and-telephony cloud-based development platform is acquiring a smaller competitor for an undisclosed amount of money. Teleku. Together, Tropo and Teleku will compete with the startups such as Twilio for the cloud based web-telephony platform business

VoicePHP: Indian Startup Marries Voice with PHP

hiww2Marrying web applications with voice has long been seen as the proverbial pot of gold: easy to dream about but hard to actually find. A few startups (and some large companies) are trying to solve the problem; some are using Voice XML, while others are betting on Adobe’s Flash. Today, TringMe, a Bangalore, India-based startup has thrown its hat in the ring by coming up with a way to marry VoIP with PHP, the lingua franca of the contemporary web. TringMe describes VoicePHP as an extension of PHP that now outputs voice instead of text and also takes input as voice instead of text. [digg=]

Basically, VoicePHP is intended to do the same things as VoiceXML, but by using the familiar PHP programming methology. In doing so, it wants to attract a large pool of PHP-savvy developers and have them develop voice applications. (See how it works.) This is an even simpler approach than the one floated by Ribbit, a Silicon Valley-based company that was acquired by British Telecom in July 2008 for $105 million. Ribbit is betting on the large-scale adoption of Flash and hopes its Flash-centric solution would become the engine that powers web-voice applications.

Read More about VoicePHP: Indian Startup Marries Voice with PHP

The Growing Ex-Amazon Club and Why It’s a Good Thing

Updated: Call it a coincidence, but over the past few days I have spent a lot of time with folks who used to work for Amazon (s amzn) but are now out doing new things. It all started with Jason Kilar, the CEO of Hulu, who was a keynote speaker at our NewTeeVee Live conference. Then last night I met with Dave Schapell, founder and CEO of TeachStreet, an e-marketplace for teachers. And this morning I had coffee with Jeff Lawson, co-founder of Twilo.
My buddy Dave McClure was the one who pointed out that they are all part of the Ex-Amazon club. Just like the rising number of ex-Google entrepreneurs I wrote about last year, these guys are leaving top jobs at one of the best technology companies in the U.S. Read More about The Growing Ex-Amazon Club and Why It’s a Good Thing