PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zoove announced today that it has closed a $15 million round of Series D funding, led by new investor Panorama Capital. Existing investors also participating in the round included: Cardinal Venture Capital, Highland Capital Partners, and Worldview Technology Partners. Zoove will use the funds to further accelerate its operations as the exclusive provider of StarStar Numbers for the largest wireless operators in the United States, reaching more than 250 million people.
StarStar Numbers lets brands easily connect with people – anytime, anywhere, on any mobile phone. StarStar Numbers are branded vanity mobile numbers designed to be promoted as part of any marketing campaign, such as: billboards, print or online ads, TV and radio commercials, consumer packaged goods and more. With StarStar Numbers, consumers simply call the name of the brand they see being promoted (e.g. **BRAND). Instantly, they can be pushed that brand's mobile app, Web page, coupon, videos or more, directly to their mobile phones – without the need to use bar code readers or disjointed text message short codes.
"Zoove has tremendous potential to help brands and advertisers leverage their existing ad budgets to reach today's on-the-go consumer," said Shankar Chandran, Partner, Panorama Capital. "What excites us the most about StarStar Numbers are their simplicity and reach. Zoove's exclusive relationship with the major U.S. wireless carriers means that it can deliver significant value to advertisers, mobile operators and consumers. We're proud to invest in such an innovative company that solves such a fundamental market need."
"Brands are looking for ways to engage and activate consumers in a simple, memorable and instant way that fits seamlessly into their day-to-day life," said Joe Gillespie, CEO of Zoove. "Our value proposition is far broader than the so-called 'mobile advertising' category. It's about enabling brands to create a direct response mechanism by appending a StarStar Number across all of their promotions. StarStar Numbers are about using their own brands to engage consumers instead of meaningless, unbranded QR codes or SMS short codes. We've seen tremendous interest by major brands and advertisers planning to use StarStar Numbers, and look forward to sharing more details in the near future."
StarStar Numbers are easy-to-remember numbers, between two and 12 digits, which people call from their mobile phones. They provide brands with a new direct-response marketing tool for reaching mobile phones, aimed at increasing response rates through a simple user experience. StarStar Numbers are compatible with both feature phones and smartphones, across all major mobile operating systems. Zoove launched its national StarStar Number directory earlier this year with vanity numbers serving several major brands such as **SUZUKI (**789854) for Suzuki and **FLOWERS (**3569377) for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. A more comprehensive list of StarStar Numbers used in public campaigns is provided on the company's website at www.zoove.com.
Pricing and Brand Engagement Model
For consumers, there is no extra charge to call a StarStar Number. After the initial phone call, users typically receive a text message or voice mail prompting them to engage further, and at that point they can opt in, based on their phone's capabilities, to view websites, download apps, etc. Standard voice, data and/or text charges based on the user's plan apply at that time.
Brands or advertisers seeking to create or use a StarStar Number must register with Zoove, which provides the exclusive registry across wireless carriers. Zoove has exclusive technical integrations across carriers' networks that enable networks to recognize and process StarStar Numbers properly. Zoove also provides content review and oversight on behalf of wireless carriers to ensure that brands' marketing campaigns adhere to carrier guidelines and policies. Brands pay Zoove an annual fee for their StarStar Number. Fees vary based on the length and scarcity of the number. Brands also receive access to Zoove's cloud-based content management system. This simple Web-based console enables brands to plan and schedule their StarStar Number campaigns, by uploading, managing, and publishing their multimedia content to callers - along with real-time reports and analytics.
Additional information about Zoove or StarStar Numbers can be found at www.zoove.com, or to reach a sales associate call (877) 283-5495 or simply call **ZOOVE (**96683) from a mobile phone.
Zoove operates an exclusive registry of vanity StarStar Numbers that lets brands easily connect with people – anytime, anywhere, on any mobile phone. Zoove is the exclusive provider of StarStar Numbers for the largest wireless operators in the United States, serving more than 250 million people. With StarStar Numbers, consumers simply call the name of the brand they see being promoted. Instantly, they can be pushed that brand's mobile app, Web page, coupon, videos or more, directly to their mobile phones – without the need to use bar code readers or disjointed text message short codes. StarStar Numbers are designed to be promoted as part of any marketing campaign, such as: billboards, print ads, TV and radio commercials, online ads and more. Zoove provides the mobile connection brands are seeking, and the ability to measure the results instantly. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., additional information about Zoove is available at www.zoove.com or by simply calling **ZOOVE (**96683) from a mobile phone.
All product and service names listed in this release remain property of their parent companies and do not indicate official support or endorsement for Zoove or its services.