Seems like the rumors were true. Ribbit was sold to BT for $105 million according to ZDnet. Here are some thoughts on the matter from Andy Abramson as well.
Why would BT buy a company focused on communications development? The primary reason is that they see communications changing rapidly and they want to be on the leading, not trailing edge of this trend. Perhaps most importantly, they don’t want the future of telecom to be exclusively in the hands of Google and Apple. This is a smart move by the UK-based telecom giant.
Will BT be successful in this move?
It is unclear becasue large service providers do not generally have similar cultures to Silicon Valley start-ups. Think total opposite in fact. In order to make this acquisition work, the founders will need to stay on for a while and be motivated to perform.
They will also need to stay a standalone company. If they get rolled into BT you can start writing the obituary today IMHO.
This transformation of communications is exactly why you need to be at the Communications Developer show this September in LA. C U There. 🙂