Rebtel, the Stockholm-based VoIP company, announced late yesterday that it has launched a new spinoff company, called Sinch. Rebtel offers competing services to Skype, and with this new platform will now be offering competing services to platforms like Twillo in a mobile-first communication layer for developers to plug into their apps.
The company says that Sinch will be based in San Francisco with offices in Stockholm, and is launching with $12 million in funding. Rebtel isn’t crystal clear where the money is coming from, but says Sinch will benefit from a strong roster of investors including Index Ventures and Balderton Capital, who are investors in Rebtel.
At launch, the platform will allow developers to include free calling, messaging, group messaging, SMS and call termination into their apps. When it comes to pricing, they say that they’ll charge significantly less than Twillo and other competitors as a communication platform price leader.
Rebtel is plugging into a good trend. By mid 2014 Skype and built-in platforms like FaceTime or Google Hangouts are clear market leaders, but the huge valuations of services like Snapchat, Whatsapp, and Viber show that communication over apps isn’t a bad trend to plug into.
“We plan to democratize in-app communications with Sinch. Rebtel was a pioneer in offering free and super-cheap voice services to consumers, and now Sinch is giving developers the best way to add a free communication layer to their apps,” Sinch CEO Andreas Bernström said. “We anticipate huge growth for our new business over the next 12 months as app development continues its rapid pace, which is the precise reason we felt Sinch deserved its own dedicated staff and focus as standalone company.”