Skype is a proprietary telecommunications application that specializes in providing VoIP-based videotelephony, videoconferencing and voice calls. It also has instant messaging, file transfer, debit-based calls to landline and mobile telephones, and other features. In May 2011, Skype was acquired for a second time by Microsoft for $8.5B.
The original outlier that kickstarted Europe's tech ecosystem and proved that great companies can come from anywhere, Skype was founded in London by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis to disrupt the global telecommunications industry by providing an online platform that enabled free video chat and voice calls to internet-connected devices anywhere in the world. The company remained headquartered in Europe throughout its lifetime.
Skype grew quickly to become the largest internet telephony platform in the world and, in 2005, Skype was acquired by eBay for $2.6B - the largest technology exit globally since the dot com crash.
In November 2009, Niklas and Janus were part of a consortium led by Silverlake that bought Skype back from eBay.
In May 2011, Skype was acquired for a second time by Microsoft for $8.5B. The combined value of both transactions has made Skype one of Europe’s most successful - and enduring - technology companies of all time, as well as being the genesis of the team, values and experience that would go on to form Atomico.
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