Skype to acquire Qik

7 Jan 2011

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Skype is to strengthen its video-sharing capabilities across devices with its acquisition of Qik, the California-based provider of mobile video software that allows people to capture and share video moments from anywhere.

Founded in 2006, Qik employs 60 people and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. The company also has an office in Moscow, Russia. The transaction is expected to close in January 2011.

In a statement released yesterday, Skype said terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.

Through this acquisition, Skype will also leverage the engineering expertise that is behind Qik’s Smart Streaming technology, which optimises video transmission over wireless networks.

Via Qik, videos can be shared in real-time or stored so moments can be viewed later, allowing for video messaging, sharing and archiving. The Qik service is available on more than 200 mobile phones across the Android, iPhone, Symbian, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile platforms. The service also comes pre-loaded on a variety of mobile handsets through partnerships with handset manufacturers and carriers.

“The Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners and millions of end users across a range of devices,” said Tony Bates, Skype’s CEO, yesterday.

"Skype’s software enables an estimated 25pc of the world’s international long-distance voice-calling minutes, and approximately 40pc of those Skype-to-Skype calls are happening over video. Qik’s deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype.”

Skype was founded in 2003 and is based in Luxembourg.

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At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday, Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis’ new music start-up Rdio Unlimited was launched to the US and Canada via a collaboration with Sonos.

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Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com