Over the weekend, TechCrunch broke the news that Google is in acquisition discussions with California-based GrandCentral, a telephone management startup. While no price has been confirmed by either group, some estimate a bill as high as $50 million for Google.
GrandCentral was created to allow users to roll their phone numbers and voicemail boxes into a single number that’s tied to the user for life. Started in 2005 by ex-DialPad Communications executives Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet, the public beta launched last September to high acclaim. Despite some early issues with call transferring and queuing, GrandCentral debuted a mobile service in April and had seemingly overcome their beta difficulties by May.
So far, there’s no official news as to what Google and GrandCentral might create. However, that hasn’t stopped insiders from speculating on the possible integration of GrandCentral’s product into existing Google products. LucaFillighedu.com posts:
“I wonder how is Google going to use that service. Integration with Google Talk? Part of a worldwide VoIP service that we don’t know about yet? Complete integration with GMail? An ‘all-in-one’ messaging dashboard for their users?”
Indeed, integration with GTalk would be the most obvious move, but the buzz is growing over a possible Google phone in the works – GrandCentral would certainly be a great asset for such a long-awaited project.
Despite rumors that the deal has already been closed, neither Google nor GrandCentral are talking.