Kazaa, Skype, and now "The Venice Project" "Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the entrepreneurs who created the pioneering Web applications Kazaa and Skype, are working on a new communications venture, BusinessWeek.com has learned. The pair plans to develop software for distributing TV shows and other forms of video over the Web, according to people familiar with the matter.
Zennstrom and Friis will not be leaving Skype or spending less time there than they are now, if only because they would be walking away from their share of up to $1.5 billion in additional eBay payments over the next three years. The Venice venture will get an investment from Zennstrom, one person familiar with the matter said. But Zennstrom isn't expected to contribute much work, beyond strategizing at a very high level. Friis is expected to spend up to 20% of his time on the venture to help develop the business model. But it appears that he won't be active in an operational sense,and others are being recruited to run the project on a daily basis."