Genband buys fring mobile VoIP pioneer

US developer of multimedia and cloud communications software pays $50 million for Tel Aviv-based startup chat service.

Israel’s fring, one of the first companies to offer OTT messaging and video services, has been acquired by Genband, the American developer of multimedia and cloud communications software. According to a Reuters report, the deal landed the Tel Aviv startup $50 million.

Fring offers free mobile VoIP services similar to WhatsApp and Skype for mobile group video chat, two-way video chat, voice-only calls and text chat.

“Gendband’s integration of fring solutions empowers service providers and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to compete with OTT solutions,” the Israeli company wrote on its blog.

“Fring is one of the pioneers that helped change the way consumers communicate on-the-go and is perfectly aligned with our strategy to bring service providers rich, simple-to-use, mobile communications solutions,” David Walsh, Genband chief executive, said in a statement.

“Service providers around the world, and particularly in Europe where roaming charges are extremely high, must evolve their communications services rapidly to ensure that they stay relevant and competitive,” Brian Partridge, vice president of Yankee Group Research, told Reuters.

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.