My pal Howard Lindzon recently got me to set up a Skype account with the promise that it would change my life. He wasn’t kidding. The service is free so the only reason I’ve resisted this long is that I didn’t think I’d have any occasion to need it. Howard was right, Skype is sick. Being able to see and say hello to my 3-year-old daughter while I’m at work makes the hours I put in that much easier to get through.
I never realized how big Skype had grown since its launch in 2003 until I read this DealBook article on the possibility of an IPO this year, or what I’ll be calling a “Skype-P.O.”
Skype has soared in popularity since it started in 2003 and has about 548 million users worldwide — more than Facebook, MySpace and Twitter combined. Thomas Weisel Partners, an investment consulting company, estimated that Skype had earned $165 million in operating income in 2009, a 42 percent jump from 2008.
If Skype increases its profit to $400 million by 2013, it could go public at a valuation of $4 billion, said Mr. Bard, who specializes in initial public offerings.
The company has been breaking away from eBay and the founders have just gained back a 14% stake as well as two board seats. This could be exciting.