Hotmail was so well-liked by users that Microsoft acquired it for around $400 million. Now Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia is hoping for similar success with Jaxtr SMS, a free text messaging service.
Jaxtr – owned by Bhatia and his partner Yogesh Patel – is a cross-platform texting application that lets users send SMSes to anyone in the world for free.
“We have developed this application that runs on all mobile applications in the world, including iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys, J2MEs, where one can send unlimited free text messages from his phone to any mobile phone in the world,” Bhatia said in a statement quoted by the Economic Times.
Jaxtr SMS was coded in Mumbai, India where it currently costs 5 Rupees to send an international SMS. The company eventually expects to have at least 100 million global subscribers.
“We witnessed tremendous response to this application during the soft launch where users across 197 countries downloaded it in a few weeks and expect 100 million subscribers by end of next year,” Bhatia said.
The company will try and monetize the service with advertisements and premium options like archiving texts, multimedia, video etc. These features should be available by the middle of next year.
Jaxtr SMS looks to be getting into the right market at the right time, as there are currently 4.2 billion texters, a number which is predicted to increase to 12 trillion by 2015. As such, it should be interesting to see how much value an SMS application can create. If Bhatia can build up user opinion of Jaxtr SMS like he did with Hotmail, then the IT entrepreneur may see another hundred million plus payday.