Rebtel, one of the many competitors in the crowded free mobile calling space, is spinning out a unit that focuses on allowing such communication tools to easily be added to other apps.

The new venture, Sinch, hopes to make the case to Android and iOS developers that adding telephony and other messaging options can be, well, a cinch.

While perhaps less crowded than the messaging app space where Rebtel has focused, the territory will find Sinch competing against, among others, Twilio.

The unit is taking 40 employees — about half Rebtel’s workforce — and has raised $12 million in new funding from Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and others.

“Rebtel was a pioneer in offering free and super-cheap voice services to consumers, and now Sinch is giving developers the best way to add a free communication layer to their apps,” Sinch CEO Andreas Bernström said in a statement. “We anticipate huge growth for our new business over the next 12 months as app development continues its rapid pace, which is the precise reason we felt Sinch deserved its own dedicated staff and focus as standalone company.”




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