Ribbit Going To BT for $105 Million: Will the APIs Stay Open?
Back in April, we covered Internet telephony startup Ribbit's integration with Salesforce.com's on-demand customer relationship management applications. There, we covered Ribbit's open APIs for delivering services such as making and receiving calls in on-demand applications, recording and saving messages and more. Now, as our parent site GigaOm is reporting, BT (British Telecom) is buying Ribbit for $105 million. Will BT protect Ribbit's openness?
Although Ribbit isn't an open source platform, its APIs have been open enough to allow any developers of on-demand applications to add telephony functions. This trend has grown in popularity, and Ribbit's business model was to get revenue sharing deals with developers adding the telephony functions.
Here's the key point that Om Malik makes in his post today: "Ribbit, as an independent company was able to get some - not a lot - of developer interest. I am not sure how BT is going to do that."
Exactly, and what I would add there is that Ribbit's open APIs have been key to how the company has wooed developers. In fact, Ribbit wooed over 4,000 developers--nothing to shake a stick at. I'm concerned that under the wing of a telecom giant, Ribbit won't stay as open as it has been.