EQO funded. What for?

I had thought EQO had called it quits. Evidently that is not the case. Today the startup that provides chat and Skype-out based calling on mobile phones announced that it has raised another $9 million in funding. EQO had earlier raised $3.5 million in funding last year. To me the investment is like throwing good money after bad money since EQO has really struggled to innovate in the face of competition from big to small companies in the mobile space. It has been more than 1 year since EQO launched and even now EQO’s core product is Skype based calling via your mobile phone. Only problem with that service is it needs to communicate with your PC to make those calls. Not sure many users would fall for that kind of service when Fring, Barablu, Nimbuzz, Truphone get you talking without any middleware or callback technology or paying for anything. In fact they even work on WiFi, so you don’t require a data connection as in EQO. If you ain’t there for Skype calling than you might just satisfy yourself with EQO’s federated IM for your mobile. Since Fring and Barablu even doing that piece, not sure what anyone would install 2 clients to get the same service.

Now there are lot of people out there asking why Skype doesn’t do the mobile piece by itself instead of EQO or iSkoot fight it out. Besides the regulation issues, and need for time and resources to develop such an app, Skype would practically be killing it’s cash cow – SkypeOut. With the always ON crowd of around 9 million moving over to free mobile-mobile calling who would pay for SkypeOut? Getting more users to their network is something that Fring and Barablu are trying to drum-up. If they can get more of my buddies onto their network earlier, I would be more than happy to call and chat for free.

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One Response to “EQO funded. What for?”

  1. StartupSquad » Blog Archive » EQO drops Skype; Makes a great comeback Says:

    […] I had expected EQO to go down the exit path quietly. But the Canadian startup has proved me wrong, not 100% though. In my last post on EQO couple of months back I had questioned the logic of the mobile app from EQO that required users to keep their PC ON to make free calls via Skype. I assume, EQO got that same message from far more people than just me. And besides that, Skype declaring iSkoot as the official mobile partner didn’t help the things at all. […]

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