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Skype, the London-based Voice over IP firm, has raised £11m($18.8m) in second round funding.

Skype offers voice calls over the internet using a free download. It has been downloaded 8.1m times since launch in August 2003. It offers basic telephony and conference calling. The basic service will remain free but the company will start charging for premium services soon. The company was started by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis - the founders of Kazaa.

The investment was led by Draper Fisher Jurveston and Index Ventures. Tim Draper of Draper Fisher and Jurvetson said in a statement: "Skype is amazing...The Skype team boasts some of the world's greatest corporate innovators, and is the hottest viral marketing phenomenon since Hotmail."

BT and Yahoo! launched a combined VoIP product last week. ®

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