Technology and internet startups often seem to come out of nowhere with meteoric success only to be snapped up by larger companies looking to make a profit from new technology. This is the circle of life online and in the technology world.
Back in 2005, eBay purchased Skype for about $1.7 billion with then CEO Meg Whitman saying that eBay believed Skype would find an audience with eBay buyers and sellers. This failed to happen and current eBay CEO John Donahoe has said that Skype has no synergies with eBay reports eWeek.
Donahoe said that eBay would do what was right for Skype and eBay -- many analysts took that statement as an indication that eBay may be interested in selling Skype. While eBay hasn’t officially stated that it is trying to sell Skype, the original founders of the Skype service, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, have reportedly contacted private equity firms in an attempt to make a bid to purchase their company back from eBay.
EBay didn’t offer comment on the rumor. Sources cited by the New York Times claim that the Skype founders are attempting to raise about $1 billion in equity from private investors to fund the purchase. An alternate method of funding the purchased according to eWeek is having eBay put up the remainder of the needed cash in the form of a seller's note in a deal that is estimated to be worth $2 billion.
Skype reportedly posted $550 million in revenue in 2008. Skype recently launched mobile software that allowed the Skype service to be used on the iPhone.