TalkTo Raises $3 Million from Matrix to Let Users Text Message BusinessesApril 16, 2012
by Walter Frick
Texting and Twitter DMs are popular for two reasons: phone calls are a pain and everyone’s inboxes are overflowing. Direct messages over SMS or through apps offer asynchronous but still relatively intimate ways to communicate. A company called TalkTo today announced it had raised a $3 million A round from Matrix Partners based on that premise, to enable short messages between consumers and local businesses through a mobile app.
The release cites the Charles Hotel in Cambridge as an early user of the service, and today launched the product in Boston, with plans to extend to other cities over time.
TalkTo launched its beta product in September, designed to mimic text messaging but to allow users to do things like book hotels or make dinner reservations and ask questions with just a short message.
“For the last few years, the onslaught of mobile technologies has redefined how consumers relate to each other and almost everything in their world, but nothing has dramatically improved the way in which they can interact with businesses,” said Antonio Rodriguez , general partner at Matrix Partners in a release. “TalkTo breaks down the barriers between consumers and businesses without compromising the ways in which each prefers to communicate.”
The app is currently available for the iPhone, though Android and other mobile users can access it over the web.
Depending on how well it works, there’s real potential here to improve the customer service experience. I already vastly prefer chats to calls in almost every case, but to be able to message a restaurant and ask “Do you offer vegetarian dishes?”, could dramatically improve the customer experience.