PALO ALTO, Calif.--Internet telephony operator Skype has tens of millions of users but envisions attracting billions with the help of video phones, says the man who co-founded the company.
Niklas Zennstrom, who also serves as the company's CEO, demonstrated a beta video version of Skype during his keynote at the AlwaysOn conference at Stanford University. The application is a plug-in based on Skype's core telecommunications technology and is being tested internally. Speaking from his office in Estonia, the executive did not say when the product would be ready for release.
Flanked by Tim Draper of investment firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (Skype's largest investor, to the tune of $10 million), Zennstrom said his goal is to use innovations from developers and outside partners to help build his business to a level that could rival Google and Yahoo.
"We are trying to create an ecosystem and extend our network...and we are focused on developing our products and extending our APIs (application user interfaces) so we can be bigger than we could be by ourselves," Zennstrom said, declining to respond to speculation that Yahoo is trying to buy his company. Skype's annual revenue has not been disclosed, but analysts suggest that it could be in the $6 billion to $10 billion range.
So far, Skype has been successful with an ..............