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December 06, 2004

Rajiv Gupta 's new "web telephony company" Cirxit bags CitySearch order

Rajiv Gupta, an former HP executive who co-founded and sold Confluent Software (a Sunnyvale, CA-based provider of software for managing Web services) to Oblix in February 2004, has created a new "web telephony company" called Cirxit, reports SiliconBeat. Cirxit is powering local portal CitySearch's pay-per-call service under which advertisers pay CitySearch whenever a visitor to the latter's site make an telephone-based enquiry.

Gupta wouldn't tell us much about CIRXIT, which is just now coming out of stealth mode — how many employees, how it's funded or much about its technology. The company doesn't even have a public web site yet.

Gupta described CIRXIT as a "web telephony company." Its technology allows Citysearch to offer its customers a unique customer phone number that CitySearch can monitor. When a call comes in to an advertiser, Citysearch can charge the merchant for the call.

"In some sense, what we're doing here is web services,'' Gupta said. "If you take a step back, we've had two separate islands: telephony and the web. What we're doing is integrating the web and telephony in a new platform. This is our first (partnership). You'll be hearing more from us.'

Gupta said the technology has a wide variety of possible applications, such as on online dating sites. There, it could allow potential daters to make that first phone call through the dating site without having to reveal their phone numbers to each other.
Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.