Callvine, a startup run by eFax’s founder and former CEO, Rudy Prince, announced Monday that it has raised $4 million for its group calling and texting iPhone app.
Optimized for iOS 4, Free New Tool Makes It Easy to Connect with Friends, Family and Colleagues Simultaneously
In our fast-paced, time-crunched world, consumers are always looking for new and more effective ways of communicating with each other, as seen with the rise in popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With this in mind, Callvine is introducing Group Call & Text for the iPhone, the first iOS 4-optimized app to combine group calling and texting into a single free app, available now in the App Store.
With Callvine, users can text more than a hundred people at once using the iPhone’s native SMS capabilities, or group call up to 20 people at the same time with a single touch.
To use Callvine for group texting, the user simply:
- Opens the Callvine app on their phone
- Taps and selects their desired contacts (from their native iPhone address book)
- Types a text message
- Presses “Send” . . . and everyone in the group receives the same SMS message
Unlike other tools, Callvine doesn’t require a separate user ID to send group texts, or track replies in a separate app that’s only used for mass texting. Callvine makes creating and managing groups a breeze, allowing each group to be assigned its own photo with nearly unlimited flexibility on the number of participants and groups.
For group calling, the user follows the same steps as group texting, but presses the “Call Now” button instead of typing a text message.
Trying to find someone with three different numbers? No problem. Callvine simultaneously rings all of their numbers (home, office, mobile) at once, connecting you on whichever phone they pick up first. For the host, a dashboard displays all participants, along with who is currently talking and the ability to mute or disconnect individual callers.
User scenarios are endless, and include:
- Making lunch or dinner plans? Call everyone at once to decide when and where to meet.
- Running late to a group gathering? Text or call everyone your ETA simultaneously.
- Change of game location due to a muddy field? Text or call the team with new venue directions.
- Missing your family in far-flung locations? Institute a weekly group call to stay in touch.
- Surprise engagement on a romantic picnic? Text or call your friends with the exciting news.
- Coordinating a team of people on a special project? Keep everyone in sync by sending simultaneous messages or group calling.
“Ultimately, social media is about people connecting and communicating online,” said Sam Decker, Callvine board member, word of mouth marketing expert and CMO of Bazaarvoice. “What Facebook and Twitter are missing is voice. With Callvine, you create an instant social channel where you can text or call any group directly from your smartphone.”
“We’ve designed Callvine to get everyone talking again,” said Rudy Prince, CEO of Callvine. “It’s an extension of your address book, where you just pick your contacts, create your groups and push a button to call or text everyone at once. Staying in touch with your groups has never been easier.”
Callvine currently supports texts and calls within the continental U.S., and is the first and only TRUSTe-certified telecommunications app in the iTunes Store.
The app is free for download.
Group calling up to 20 people via Callvine is free up to 10 minutes, with a special launch-time offer of one hour of free call time through September 7th. After that, pay-as-you-go bundles of minutes will be offered for as little as $5.99 through an iTunes account.
There’s no extra charge or registration required to enable group texting via Callvine.
About Callvine, Inc.
Callvine is revolutionizing mobile group communications with innovative, powerful applications and services for the latest smartphones. Built on a $10 million software investment in cloud, telecom and messaging infrastructure, Callvine’s platform delivers the next generation of collaboration tools to consumers and mobile professionals.
Founded in 2010, Callvine is backed by S3 Ventures and based in Austin, Texas.
The company announced Monday that it has raised $4 million for its group calling and texting iPhone app, according to VentureBeat.
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