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Internet telephony is a global phenomenon, and Skype Technologies S.A. is right in the thick of it.

Today Luxembourg-based Skype announced closing a second round of financing for $18.8 million led by venture capital firms, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Index Ventures. Skype, which was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the pioneers of file-sharing network Kazaa, said it would use the money to expand global operations and improve its consumer offer.

According to Skype, people from at least 165 countries have downloaded its software 8.1 million times to make free phone calls to fellow Skypers since its beta release last August. Software features include language preferences in 15 languages, conference calling, multiple-call hold and instant messaging, among other things. While Skype will remain committed to a simple-to-use yet feature-rich free offering, we will introduce an array of premium services at our first commercial launch later this year, Zennstrom said in a statement.

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