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Telefonica Shuts Down Jajah

TheNextWeb reported yesterday that Telefonica is shutting down the Jajah VoIP service that they acquired back in 2009 for a reported $207 million. While certainly disappointing for the users and presumably for some staff, it's not entirely unexpected. In the early pre-acquistion days, Jajah was doing some very cool things (ex. powering Yahoo!Voice, although that service has since faded) and was quite interesting to watch. Back when Alec Saunders was doing his daily "Squawk Box" podcast, we interviewed Jajah co-founder Roman Scharf on April 29, 2008 (you can still listen to the episode).

However, ever since the Telefonica acquisition you didn't hear a whole lot about them... although they did come out with an Android app in 2011 for calling Facebook contacts.

Telefonica isn't saying anything yet publicly about why they are shutting down Jajah. Pretty much the entire Jajah website points to a single "shut down" page and the blog now only has an entry about the shutdown. Matt Marshall over on VentureBeat speculates that Jajah simply didn't have any substantial revenue after voice traffic has been so commoditized - and that's as good a suggestion as any.

So... goodbye to Jajah... best wishes to all the customers and (presumably) staff.

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