Google Grabs GrandCentral

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Google on Monday said it has agreed to acquire web-based voice startup GrandCentral Communications.  GrandCentral, which has raised roughly $4 million from Minor Ventures, allows people to have one unified telephone number…..


The acquisition marks another move against eBay’s Skype.  Longtime allies Google and eBay have been in increasing competition in the areas of online payment systems, auctions, and advertising marketplaces.  The unified number allows people to get free from telephone providers in a similar way that web-based email accounts liberated people from relying on Internet service providers…..The startup fits into Google’s current lineup of products and its philosophy.  With Gmail and Google Talk, GrandCentral’s recorded conversations and voicemail messages could be stored just like Gmail emails and Google Talk’s chat messages.  And the voice recordings would be searchable as well.  GrandCentral’s idea of uniting all phones in one number square with Google’s stated goal of uniting all of a person’s personal and professional online tools.  Google has been rumored to be developing its own mobile phone, and GrandCentral’s technology could theoretically be incorporated into such a device.  GrandCentral founders Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet previously led VoIP company Dialpad Communications and sold it to Yahoo in 2005.

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