Jangl and LiveUniverse a Perfect Fit?

May 19, 2008 by Garrett Smith

Over the last two weeks, rumors have swirled around the industry as to the fate of the once promising voice start-up Jangl, who looked to be in shambles after running out of cash and seeing the departure of their co-founders and engineering team to JAJAH. For those of you not familiar with Jangl, they are a voice 2.0 company with a variety of web-based calling solutions, most notably their “blind” calling service that allows online dating participants to make calls between one another without revealing their true phone number.

This weekend, it was announced that Jangl had been acquired by LiveUniverse, a video, social networking and music media company headed by MySpace founder Brad Greenspan. LiveUniverse, which touts over 55m visitors a month across all of their properties, already has the following and the brand advertisers that Jangl desperately needs in order to be a profitable stand-alone business.

Fortunately for those left at Jangl and LiveUniverse, it does not appear that Jangl will necessarily be a standalone play. Although it certainly has the potential to be a stand-alone business, Jangl has had most of it’s success as a “white label” provider of voice functionality for online dating sites and social networks. The most logical next step for the LiveUniverse is to integrate Jangl’s technology across their web properties making this acquisition more about purchasing a piece of technology, rather than a business.

Next to integrating the technology across their properties, LiveUniverse would be smart to continue to try and attract more social networks and online dating sites as white label customers of their voice capabilities. The downfall of this, however, is that voice is still not a demand feature for the users of said sites. So is the marriage of LiveUniverse and Jangl a perfect fit? I think so, although I believe that it is a perfect fit because the Jangl technology compliments LiveUniverse’s current offerings and enhances the features that the company can offer to their web “guests.” I doubt, though, that the acquisition will do much for the company by way of direct revenues.

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