Silicon Valley's First Phone Company? - InformationWeek

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12/4/2007
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John Foley
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Silicon Valley's First Phone Company?

Ribbit, a 2-year-old company whose software integrates cell phone calls with Web applications, is about to unveil plans to become, by its description, "Silicon Valley's first phone company."

Ribbit, a 2-year-old company whose software integrates cell phone calls with Web applications, is about to unveil plans to become, by its description, "Silicon Valley's first phone company."Ribbit's announcement is slated for next week, so we don't have all the details. I met with Ribbit in October on a visit to Salesforce.com's incubator facility in San Mateo, Calif. Ribbit For Salesforce lets sales and marketing folks integrate cell calls with their Salesforce apps. You can capture a cell call, for example, and append it to a sales proposal or other "task" for later playback from within the application. Ribbit also lets users play voice messages in any order and see a text version of a voice message when you mouse over it.

See a demo here.

Beta testing began on Salesforce in October, and the company had a half dozen early adopters at the time.

Now Ribbit's about to introduce a development platform aimed at an expanding ecosystem of developers who write hybrid voice/Web applications to be offered through a Ribbit marketplace. In an e-mail on its upcoming announcement, the company alludes to an ecosystem of hundreds of developers and technology partners (Salesforce among them) that will offer "rich telephony applications" to businesses and consumers. Ribbit's Web site has been stripped of details about the company, hinting instead at a future in which voice becomes "a rich, embedded media stream." Ribbit owns a class 5 softswitch infrastructure, which presumably will serve as the foundation for applications developed with the Ribbit Developer Platform.

Ribbit was co-founded by CEO Ted Griggs who, along with several of Ribbit's other co-founders, was previously with softswitch developer Syndeo, according to his bio. Venture firm Alsop Louie Partners is an investor.

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