Vancouver-based EQO, makers of a mobile VoIP and IM client, just closed a $9 million second round financing on top of their $4 million CDN (~$3.5 US) series A financing. The round was made by existing investors GrowthWorks and BDC Capital, with new investor, Ventures West, taking the lead. EQO is a J2ME application that runs on over 450 phones across all the major carriers that functions kind of like Meebo for your mobile.
EQO lets you chat on AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Google, Jabber, and Skype IM networks as well as place calls over Skype (Skype plug-in required). To use the IM client, you enter your credentials into your mobile phone, which logs you on to the services using your data network. Skype calls are placed through Skype and an EQO plug-in on your computer. When you want to call a Skype contact, or other PSTN number, your phone sends a data message to Skype on your computer to set up the call. When the call is ready, your computer calls back your phone over the voice network using SkypeOut. This is the same as SoonR‘s product.
There have been several startups pursuing Skype on mobile phones, including another Canadian startup, Mobivox. However, Skype has been endorsing iSkoot as their mobile partner, taking much of the wind out of these companies’ sails. GigaOm has some good coverage on the subject.
EQO plans on using the new money to expand their team, internationalization, and consumer reach. We got a first taste of their developing consumer facing portion of their product back in November when they launched an embeddable widget that lets your friends send you multi media messages from your web page.