Mobile

Skype signals new ambitions with Silicon Valley expansion

Web calling service Skype just announced that it has purchased a 90,000 square foot office in the Stanford Research Park, marking a big expansion of the company’s Silicon Valley presence.

Skype’s workforce in the Bay Area is currently limited to 80 people housed in a 2,000 square foot building in the eBay office and temporary office space in Brisbane. Its technical teams are based in Estonia, Prague, and Stockholm. (For a few years, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, who founded Skype and file-sharing service Kazaa, avoided traveling to the United States at all due to a lawsuit from the music and movie industries.) Now the company says it wants to recruit a big engineering team here.

Chief executive Josh Silverman (pictured) told GigaOm that the move’s big goal is to expand Skype’s presence on other devices. It has taken the steps in that direction with its embedded TV service and a recently launched software developer kit that makes it possible to embed Skype in other applications.

The company’s new ownership likely played a role in the new direction and location too. A consortium of investors, including Silver Lake Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and Zennström and Friis purchased the company from eBay last year.

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