Just in: Boston based C2B texting innovators Pingup announced having closed a $4 million dollar Series A funding round led by Boston VC firm, Avalon Ventures. Pingup is pretty much the way an engagement “easy button” is supposed to look.
If ever there was an innovation bred out of need, Pingup CEO Mark Slater and fellows came up with a doozy. For those of you who wished you could just text a business, like you would a pal, this simple idea has powerful implications. Pingup lets iOS and Android (for now) users text the clubhouse about that tee time before the morning dew lifts, or holds that table over til the rain lifts, making giving feedback a painless tapping of keys, so natural to everyone these days.
As a newfangled (really powerful) new connective between proprietors and clients, Pingup is novelty amplified into genius. Well, almost. What the thing really is is a sort of short cut local search/marketing/booking channel.
However you choose to describe Pingup, Avalon Ventures must have seen “the vision”, the Cambridge and La Jolla (strange combo, yeah) VC firm has been focused on IT and life sciences so far. Avalon Managing Director Rich Levandov, offered his take fresh off the press release:
“We believe this is the most challenging and rewarding period of company creation – we are former entrepreneurs driven by passionate people pursuing disruptive ideas in ever changing market environments.”
Of course there’s a lot of “we’re thrilled and proud” PR going on (okay, I am a PR, sorry), but the real news here is the implications of such mobile moves. Face it, new “sub-channels”, if I can call this one, just don’t come around so often anymore. Mobile ads are going to start popping, the shift to mobile search and mobile marketing as dominant channels is high on everyone’s list, and texting instead of getting a busy signal is – really an elegant offering of a simple solution.
The Pingup mobile app lets businesses “self-enroll” (screen above), then get and give texts to customers. One really powerful thing about the new system is not even marketed so heavily. You see businesses cannot SPAM customers via Pingup, the “customer” actually has to initiate and control the text conversations. How is this a big deal? Simple really, if the connection is open, warranted, then conversions and sales far vastly optimized. If I have to explain that, call your marketing professor.
We talk a lot about what is to come in mobile marketing and rich media ads etc. Isn’t it funny how the simplest, already existent ideas, can be the most powerful? Sure, not everyone is a “texting” expert, but that’s not really the point here is it? Pingup is the first in what will probably be a long line of B2C, or should I say C2B connectives. I did say C2B already up there. This is the way easy buttons should look.
DL Pingup at iTunes here, or Google Play here. Be appraised, the company has focused on the East Coast primarily, but has plans to expand East West next. Stay tuned.