Toivo Annus, one of the founders of the popular instant messaging and video calling program Skype, has died at the age of 49, says Estonian World.

The widow of an Estonian IT engineer said her husband died suddenly on Sunday, July 12th.

- My extreme sadness is to announce that last weekend a beloved man, father, entrepreneur and investor, Toivo Annus, died of a surprising illness.

Skype was launched in Estonia in 2003 by Janus Friis from Denmark, Niklas Zennström from Sweden and four Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn and Toivo Annus from Estonia. Annus played a major role in managing the first Skype office in Tallinn.

Skype was sold to eBay in 2005 for $ 2.6 billion. It was the first privately owned startup company founded by Estonians with a value of more than $ 1 billion. Skype has been of great importance to Estonian technology entrepreneurs and the country's startup field.

Following the sale of Skype, four Estonians set up private investment firm Ambient Sound Investment. In 2018, the investment company already had assets of EUR 131 million.

Annus also invested as an individual in several companies around the world and was particularly active in Singapore.

In 2010, the President of Estonia awarded Annus the fifth class medal of the Order of the White Star.