• Skype prepares initial public offering


    Travelers have learned that while traveling abroad, Skype is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends back home. Over time, the free-to-use app has made the leap from downloadable program to ubiquitous travel gadget accessory, popping up on iPhones, iPads and various types of smartphones.

    Now, the company is preparing plans for its initial public offering as it looks to fund its future business ventures. The company, based out of Luxembourg, has said it hopes to raise $100 million from the first sale of its stock.

    Skype allows users to make free calls to other Skype users, but charges to call a cell phone or landline. Its integration into smartphones has been controversial, as it could essentially allow users to make free calls outside of their wireless plans.

    In the filing, the company said that it averages 124 million users a month. Those callers have made an estimated 95 billion minutes worth of calls in the first half of 2010.

    The latest iPhone sports a front-facing camera, which allows Skype users to easily make video conferencing calls while traveling. Savvy tourists could also use the program to share live feeds of vacations with friends and family who didn't make the trip.

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