REBTEL DIALS UP $20 MILLION IN SERIES A FUNDING
Rebtel Networks AB, the new voice services company offering unlimited international calling from mobile phones for just $1 per week, will announce tomorrow (September 26, 2006) that it has received $20 million in Series A funding from Index Ventures and Benchmark Capital. The funds will be used to advance Rebtel’s rapid growth, expand business development and marketing efforts, and accelerate expansion into more countries around the world.
Founded in January 2006 by Hjalmar Winbladh and Jonas Lindroth, Rebtel’s objective from the start has been to create a genuinely good, honest, and trustworthy global voice services company that saves its customers money. The company’s services allow registered users to create local phone numbers for themselves and their friends abroad. For example, a person in San Francisco gets a San Francisco phone number to call their friend in London, and the friend in London gets a London phone number to call the person in San Francisco. By connecting the local calls over the Internet using VoIP technology, Rebtel lets consumers bypass the excessive international fees charged by mobile carriers.
Today, Rebtel services can be used by residents of more than 35 countries. “We were impressed by the momentum that Rebtel has amassed since its Beta launched at the end of June,” said Danny Rimer, Index general partner who joins Rebtel’s board. “Now out of Beta, it is highly possible that Rebtel can create a sea change in the telecom market.”
Johan Brenner, Benchmark’s partner, who also joins Rebtel’s board, said the team at Rebtel is both revolutionary and visionary. “They’re clearly capable of building something that lasts; something that actually drives fundamental change in the telecom market,” he said. Added Benchmark partner, Peter Fenton: “We instantly recognized the power of Rebtel to transform mobile communications to deliver consumers the freedom they have come to expect on the Internet. We are thrilled to help the team realize their vision to deliver a truly consumer-oriented voice services company.”
For Rebtel, the decision to accept outside investment was primarily about the people who will join the company as advisors and partners in the business, said Winbladh, who with Lindroth, co-founded Sendit AB in 1994, a pioneering mobile Internet software company they took public before it was acquired by Microsoft Corp. “For our market, we’re getting a dream team with investors like Index and Benchmark,” he said.
Rebtel Networks AB is a new global voice services company for individuals, micro-business professionals, and cord-cutters inside small and large businesses, who regularly call international suppliers, customers, partners, their workforce, or friends and family abroad. Unlike the large mobile telecom carriers that charge exorbitant rates to recoup their high costs, Rebtel offers consumers ultra low rates for global calling by making all calls local. For more information, and to start using Rebtel services, go to http://www.rebtel.com.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading European venture capital firm active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams in the Information Technology and Life Science sectors build their companies into market defining global leaders. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey and focuses its investment activity primarily on Europe and Israel. Investments include Betfair (the world’s largest betting exchange); Skype (recently acquired by eBay); MySQL (the world’s most popular open source database); Photoways (Europe’s largest online photo-processing service) and Lovefilm (Europe’s largest DVD rental business). For more information, please visit http://www.indexventures.com.
About Benchmark Capital
Benchmark Capital is a leading international venture capital firm, focused on helping talented entrepreneurs build great technology companies which are focused on long-term growth. Managing more than US$3 billion in committed venture capital, Benchmark’s partners take an active, team-oriented approach to venture investing. The firm was founded in the US (Silicon Valley) in 1995, the European office opened in London in 2000 and the Israeli office in 2001. Benchmark Capital Europe has two funds totaling US$875 million and has made over 50 investments across a variety of geographies and technology market sectors. The European funds include companies such as Betfair (the world’s largest online betting exchange), Setanta (the leading pay-TV sports broadcaster), Bebo (the social networking site), Alphyra (the leading pan European electronic payments provider) and MySQL (the open-source database business). Other Benchmark investments include eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT). For more information, please visit the website at http://www.benchmark.com.
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