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Sipwise raises Series A funding from Tecnet Equity and Speedinvest

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised a Series A financing round from Tecnet Equity and Speedinvest! This investment with an amount >USD 1M will allow us to grow much faster than in the past, and heavily expand our business in the US, as well as expand our existing business in the EU.

Who are we?

Sipwise develops carrier-grade VoIP platforms and integrates them into existing ISP/ITSP landscapes. The company was founded in 2008 by Andreas Granig, Daniel Tiefnig and Atilla Ceylan and has been boot-strapped since then to a highly skilled team of 10 people. With our open-source based communications platform based on SIP (the Session Initiation Protocol), we’ve aquired top-tier customers all around the world (e.g. UPC Broadband and its US-based mother company Liberty Global, one of the largest cable-operators world-wide, amongst others), where we managed to replace Cisco-, Nortel- and Siemens-Systems with our Sipwise NGCP (Next Generation Communication Platform).

Open Source, you said?

The telco landscape consists of two parts. One is big incumbents deploying IMS solutions (e.g. mobile operators and former state-owend ISPs), who insist on dictating what their customers can do and what they can’t. This approach resulted in the “walled garden” scenarios where they have full control over you as a customer, and where you have to pay a premium to break out of their networks (roaming, data roaming, SMS costs).

The other part is alternative ISPs/ITSPs, who build their systems from scratch using open standards based on SIP. The usual approach here is to take available open source building blocks and create their own solutions from scratch. The problem with this approach is that the same work is done over and over again, resulting in low-quality systems, because SIP is not an easy protocol and the same mistakes are being made again and again. Beside that, there are many missing building blocks like proper provisioning and billing of customers.

This is where Sipwise jumps in and provides a free and open source solution, putting together the proper building blocks which already exist, glue them together in a best-practice approach and providing the missing parts to offer an end-to-end solution. We are also heavy contributors to the open source projects we use, both on the side of code contribution and management as well as on the financial side by sponsoring certain development tasks (e.g. Kamailio and Sems). The result of that is the sip:provider CE (Community Edition), which is an easy-to-install and fully-fledged VoIP soft-switch covering all the requirements for alternative ISPs/ITSPs.

How do you make money on Open Source?

Getting started with a VoIP service is easy, but scaling is hard. Often times, people start off with an MVP (minimum viable product), which is fine. Once they get off the ground with it, they realize that the initial technology they used is not appropriate to scale. In VoIP deployments, people often start out with Asterisk, which is actually a PBX, and it’s not built to serve >1000 subscribers. This is where our Sipwise sip:provider CE comes in, which allows to scale up to 50k subscribers. Once you reach a level like this, you might also start to think about high-availability.

The CE doesn’t provide that feature, but the sip:provider PRO does. The PRO is a highly available, turn-key VoIP platform, which comes on two 1U servers, optimized for high performance and availability, guaranteeing a maximum of 50k subscribers or 2000 parallel calls. It’s a commercial upgrade, where we offer a seamless migration from an existing CE. Beside the HA feature, the PRO also comes with a prepaid billing engine and fax2mail/webfax features, beside monitoring capabilities. One of the main advantages with the PRO though is that we provide 24/7 support on the platform, so you can lay back and let our engineers do the troubleshooting if something goes wrong.

Once you’ve reached 50k subscribers, we’ll offer you the sip:carrier, a highly scalable platform on top of the PRO. It’s an IBM BladeCenter, which contains up to 5 PRO instances (2×5 servers), and a middle-ware to shard your subscribers dynamically over those instances. This covers at least 250k subscribers, and if you go over that number, we offer ways to scale that arbitrarily.

So where is this venture going to?

Sipwise is currently serving small-, medium- and high-tier ISPs all around the world. What we want to do is focussing more on the US market, where we’re currently developing modules to replace Centrex deployments by state-of-the-art cloud-based PBX solutions. Beside that, we’re targeting all the self-made solutions which suffer the scaling pain to move to the free CE solution and upgrade from there to the PRO or Carrier.

Are you hiring?

Hell yeah, we do! If you’ve a good background in network engineering or in systems engineering, we’d love to hear from you at! Send me an email to agranig@sipwise.com to get in touch with us!

What about your current Investors?

We’ve looked carefully at which investors suit us best, and finally went with Speedinvest and Tecnet Equity.

Speedinvest is a private VC with experienced entrepreneurs, having hands-on knowledge in the mobile and internet industry. Members of their team have had large fund-raising events and successful exits by themselves, so they know what they’re talking about. They are backed by a number of “Super Angels” from Austria with a focus on Co-Entrepreneurship and Hands-On-Support.

Tecnet Equity is a funding group tied to the government of Lower Austria, which has decided to pay particular attention to technology-oriented high-growth companies with a need for funding in the early stages of development.

Interested in our technology?

If you want to quickly try out our solution, download the installer or a pre-installed virtual machine image as described in the handbook.

For any additional questions, we’re happy to answer them either on the mailing list or directly by our sales team at sales@sipwise.com.

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