Startup TextNow has pulled off a feat no other mobile company has accomplished: a mobile service built entirely around IP communications. It’s selling voice and data plans on a pair of Samsungs for $19 a month.
Derek Ting and Jon Lerner won’t soon forget Christmas of 2009. Never mind opening presents or enjoying a turkey dinner. The two University of Waterloo computer engineering students didn’t get much sleep for four days and nights as they desperately scrambled to handle an explosion of users for a mobile software application they had created called TextNow.
TextNow is selling refurbished Android smartphones (you can get a Nexus S for $89.99) and offering calling and texting plans starting at $18.99 a month with no contracts. But even though you can use the phone to make or receive calls, you’re not using the cellular voice network.
Enflick, the developer who created free text messaging app TextNow and IM application PingChat has raised over $1 million in seed funding led by Freestyle Capital, with the Menlo Ventures Talent Fund and Lady Gaga’s talent manager Troy Carter and Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun participating in the round.