YouMail: Nothing To Fear From Google Voice

Irvine-based YouMail, the advanced voicemail service, isn't afraid of Google Voice, which announced today that it was finally opening up general access to its unified calling and voicemail services. How does the biggest firm on the Internet moving into your space change the company's plans?

"It doesn't change anything for us," said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, which is venture backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners and the Tech Coast Angels. Google appeared as a competitor to YouMail back in March of 2009, when it launched Google Voice from its acquisition of GrandCentral Commmunications, but had been limiting access to the service to a small number of invite-only users. Quilici explains, "We've been operating YouMail from day one knowing that there would be other, interesting offerings in the mobile communications space, and they would be from big players."

Quilici says, unlike Google, the firm has been focusing on driving distribution for the firm's replacement voicemail services through carrier, handset makers, and retailers, saying that the firm is the "best direct replacement for existing mobile voicemail." He acknowledges that YouMail is in a competitive space--he says the area is one where "large carriers and others dominate" but also said that "it's an enormous market, with billions of mailboxes worldwide." Quilici says that the firm now has over one million registered users and has been deployed as a replacement voicemail product on six carriers.