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Tango grabs $42 million to fuel video calling

Free mobile video calling on Android and iOS coming to Windows soon

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
July 20, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1cf1

Tango, provider of free mobile video calling, announced Wednesday that it has raised $42 million in Series B funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and venture capital vehicle led by Len Blavatnik and Alex Zubillaga.

Android and iPhone were Tango’s primary platforms since last year, but the company is now raising funds as it gears up to launch on the PC as well. Release is expected later this summer.

When I asked the company if they have plans to develop for Mac, CTO and co-founder Eric Setton told me that it’s on the product roadmap, but not definitively set on the calendar. Also, he says that 70 percent of Tango’s member base uses PCs, so it makes more sense as a platform to target.

“As one of the first investors in Skype, we see the enormous opportunity in front of Tango,” said Timothy Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson.  “Mobile is the new frontier and Tango simply has the best technology and product to allow people to make free video calls on their smartphones, tablets, and now the PC.  We were so impressed with their team, technology, and aggressive product roadmap.  Mobile video calling is the big trend of the year and we're excited to see where Tango will take it.”

The power of Tango is that users can video call each other to and from any platforms that the service supports. That means that somebody on an iPad could actually talk with and see someone else on an Android phone. You certainly can’t do that with Apple’s FaceTime, the iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 video calling app.

Tango works over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi.

Since launching in September 2010, the service has attracted 18 million users from 190 countries. Tango aims to reach 100 million users by this same time next year, which is very possible once it hits Windows.  

Video calling is an increasingly heated space, with the most recent development being Skype’s partnership with Facebook, which allows friends on the network to video chat each other directly from the site, without having to open up an external application. That feature is seen as Facebook’s response to Google+ Hangouts, which let social networkers video conference en masse.


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