UK-based Truphone, a VoIP service provider for Wifi/data enabled handsets, announced a £16.5 million ($32.7 million) second round of financing today, adding to the £12.5 million ($24.5 million) they raised a little over a year ago.
What’s that $50+ million being used for? Cheap calls! Like Fring and a slew of others, Truphone allows free calls initiated from between Wifi/data enabled handsets and/or computers, or cheap VoIP-to-anywhere calls.
Truphone has a technology advantage that allows for better sound quality and longer battery life, but at the cost of easier carrier blocking relative to Fring. But they’re winning against carriers in court, so the blocking issue isn’t hurting them as much.
Notably absent from the funding announcement was any mention of cofounder Alexander Straub or previous investor Straub Ventures (the venture fund still lists Truphone as an investment, however). I’m betting there’s an interesting story there. (Update: see comment below from Straub, although I find it odd neither he nor his fund were mentioned in the press release.)
Update2: TechCrunch UK has more on the pricing structure Truphone is using to attack carriers.