Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have approached several private equity firms and are pooling their own substantial resources to make a bid for the VoIP service, several people with knowledge of their plans told the New York Times. The two men sold Skype to eBay in 2005 for USD 2.6 billion, and later received bonus payouts that increased the final price to USD 3.1 billion. Since then, Zennstrom and Friis have created the venture capital firm Atomico and backed the online video service Joost, both based in London. Ebay has struggled to realise synergies between Skype and its main online shopping business, and executives at the company have signalled a willingness to sell Skype. The two Skype founders declined to comment to the paper. One person with knowledge of their discussions said they were trying to raise about USD 1 billion in equity from private investors, and were discussing one case in which eBay itself would put up the rest of the financing in the form of a seller’s note to complete a deal worth more than USD 2 billion. An eBay spokesman said the company did not comment on rumors.