MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- textPlus, a leading provider of free mobile communications worldwide, today announced it has raised $18 million in capital led by The Raine Group, the global merchant bank focused exclusively on entertainment, digital media and sports. Previous textPlus investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Matrix Partners and GRP Partners have also joined in this fourth round of funding for the company. Proceeds will be used towards international expansion, product development and strategic acquisitions.
Since its launch in 2009, textPlus has been focused on providing a better phone experience to consumers by offering unparalleled choice, savings and reliability. The company has delivered on all fronts:
- Connecting over 110 million people worldwide through an open network that lets anyone participate
- Providing full phone functionality over 3G/4G/WiFi networks to smartphones, tablets and other connected devices
- Delivering savings of $1000 per year on average per person for texting and calling plans
- Facilitating over 50 billion worldwide text messages to date
- Enabling free and low-cost, high-quality calling services, which has allowed users to cost-effectively extend their average time spent per call by over 350%
The high quality and extreme value of textPlus has driven strong engagement, with users spending more than one hour per day in the app. textPlus monetizes this traffic through display advertising from world-class partners, as well as user earned or purchased minutes for out-of-network voice calls. textPlus' success in these monetization strategies has put the company firmly on the path to profitability.
"The tremendous growth and success of our business in just the US and Canada tells us we're well on our way to realizing our goal of becoming the world's leading mobile communication destination," said Scott Lahman, Founder and CEO of textPlus. "With The Raine Group on board, we add substantial experience in the telecom, media and entertainment space to our already seasoned team which will help us expand textPlus internationally while continuing to deliver cost-effective, world-class communication services to our customers."
"textPlus' unique combination of in-network and out-of-network services creates a strong value proposition for consumers and positions the company to disrupt the world of mobile technology,' said John Salter, Partner at The Raine Group and new textPlus board member. "Scott and his team have built a solid company and we are delighted to partner with them in their next phase of expansion as they seek to reach and connect even more users on a global basis."
In conjunction with the funding, textPlus has changed both the product and company name to textPlus, dropping GOGII as the parent company name. Additionally, the company has acquired Los Angeles-based startup Jarvus, an app that helps people capture and share experiences, events and moments together. Jarvus CEO Chris Vaughn and CTO Raymond Jia will join the textPlus team, helping lead business development and product development for the company.
textPlus is a leading mobile communications service that lets anyone text, talk and share for free or cheaply. We offer unparalleled choice, savings and reliability to consumers globally for a better phone experience. Our open network connects over 110 million people worldwide through a chart-leading app available for iOS, Android and Windows smartphones and devices including iPod touch and tablets. textPlus is headquartered in Marina del Rey and backed by leading investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Matrix Partners, GRP Partners and The Raine Group. Learn more at www.textplus.com.
About The Raine Group
The Raine Group is a global merchant bank focused exclusively on entertainment, digital media and sports. Founded in 2009 by Joseph Ravitch and Jeffrey Sine, in partnership with WME Entertainment, Raine has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Beijing. With a global reach, Raine focuses on growth equity investments where its deep industry experience and unique network of strategic relationships, limited partners and advisory board members can create value for portfolio companies. For more information visit http://www.raine.com/