Skype Revenue Up 20 Percent To $860M In 2010; Paid Users Up 19 Percent

As the company prepares for a public offering in the next year, Skype released an updated S-1 filing that includes several new revenue, income and usage numbers. As you may have heard, Skype initially filed for an IPO registration statement with the SEC, with the maximum proposed offering amount listed as $100 million (that is a placeholder amount.) It was thought that the IPO would take place early this year, but apparently the company’s newly appointed CEO Tony Bates is looking for more time to get Skype “in better shape.”

Skype says that it has grown its average monthly connected users by 38% (to 145 million average monthly connected users) and has grown average monthly paying users by 19%, from the three months ended December 31, 2009 to the three months ended December 31, 2010. Average monthly paying users have increased from 7.3 million to 8.8 million users, and Skype is seeing an average of $97 in revenue per paying user. From December 31, 2009 to December 31, 2010, Skype has grown registered users from 474 million to 663 million users.

Net revenues increased by 20% from $719 million in pro forma 2009 to $860 million in 2010, and Adjusted EBITDA increased by 43% from $185 million in pro forma 2009 to $264 million in 2010. Skype’s net loss in 2010 was $7 million, compared to a net loss of $418 million on a pro forma basis in 2009 (which includes a $344 million charge incurred the settlement in the Joltid Transaction).

Skype ended 2010 with 911 employees, up from 733 in December 2009. Skype acquired mobile video startup Qik in January for $121 million in cash with $29 million in additional payments. As part of the acquisition, Skype added 63 employees from Qik.

In 2010, Skype users made 207 billion minutes of voice and video calls. In the fourth quarter alone, video calls accounted for approximately 42% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes, and in 2010, users sent over 176 million SMS text messages through Skype.

Another interesting tidbit from the filing—Skype’s primary source of revenue has been from the purchase of credit (on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis) for the company’s SkypeOut product, which provides calling to landlines and mobile devices.

There are four contributing factors that Skype says will help increase revenue. First, the company’s userbase is rapidly growing as mobile broadband access increased. Skype also plans to increase awareness and adoption of its paid products and premium features. And Skype will continue to develop monetization models and revenue streams for its user base, and expects to grow revenue via marketing services (such as advertising) and licensing. Lastly, Skype will look to add more enterprise users to its user base.

Risk factors for the company include the fact that Skype has taken a loss in income in both 2009 and 2010 and may not achieve profitability in the next few years. Profitability, says Skype, will depend on the company’s ability to increase revenue, manage business costs, maintain tax positions and keep up with competitors (Skype specifically calls out Google has a growing competitor with Google Voice).