If one reads the tea leaves and listen to the rumble in the VoIP jungle, takes to heart questions from investment strategists and connects the dots from people one trusts who know who is asking what or being asked what to ask and where to look, one may conclude that Vonage is about to sell their consumer business off.
Here's why. Over the past few years, since firing JWT (J. Walter Thompson) much of what Vonage has done marketing wise and acquisition wise, has been to build up their business product line, including buying Nexmo earlier this year following four business/enterprise VoIP buys (Telesphere and SimpleSignal are two former clients of mine so start there). Their commercial for business communications from this past summer, produced by a former agency I had the good fortune to work with while at Upper Deck and later on as part of the Apple Think Different Campaign, where I represented Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks in her negotiations with the agency and Apple, Chiat-Day, is an agency you hire when you want to move from one place to another, not simply to produce another spot. Plenty of agencies can do that, but Chiat is where you go when you want mind shift, as part of a strategic shift, and that as they say in poker or in the world of con artistry, "a tell."
Add in that most recent rumors that Vonage has laid off 110-120 consumer side staff, that family office investors are calling around asking about the consumer VoIP space, that others who have backed some roll ups in the VoIP infrastructure space are asking the kinds of questions that can only point to Big V or MagicJack, (or both) and you have to think that some Private Equity player (or players) see the cash cow value in Vonage and are ready to take the consumer biz away so Vonage can focus on the more predictable business market.
So this begs the question...is Vonage's consumer biz on the block?
Update-Shortly after posting I'm hearing rumblings that Vonage approached Lyca Mobile or Lebara, both mobile players who want to find ways to sell cheaper phone service than the incumbents. There are few secrets in VoIP.