Does Jaxtr have a free calling death wish?
Me-too VoIP/Voice 2.0/mobile VoIP/kitchen-sink startups have been either dying or trying to differentiate themselves from the pack for the past year. Jaxtr seems to want to squander the $10 million VC round it received in June by offering free calling - a trick pony already tried and died by other VoIP companies.
The FreeConnect service hands out local PSTN dialing numbers to Jaxtr members to dial directly, with local phone numbers also able to be used again - and also resulting in costs for using the PSTN and phone numbers. Rebtel, AOL, and a wave of others have tried the whole free phone number scheme with little success, so even if Jaxtr got a really great deal on blocks of phone numbers around the country, they still have to pay the overhead costs.
Jaxtr's CEO believes that a good chunk of free callers will convert to paid callers, so the company will be able to cover costs of the free callers will be covered by the paid guys. Uhhhhh....
- Om Malik reports on this suicidal VoIP business strategy.