SuperPhone is building a Salesforce for texting


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The deal with guide is the final, worst default app you depend on. It’s time it obtained as sensible as the remainder of our telephones. That’s the thought behind SuperPhone.

E-mail isn’t the way you construct relationships anymore. But most enterprise software program sanctifies the spammy inbox when it’s the immediacy of textual content messaging that retains folks in contact at this time. Musician Ryan Leslie realized that when he earned $2 million by constructing a customized textual content administration product to trace, discuss to and transact together with his followers. Now he’s turning SuperPhone right into a full-fledged CRM for SMS with a brand new app and spherical of funding.

Designed for entrepreneurs, entertainers and anybody juggling shoppers or gross sales contacts, SuperPhone tells you who you’re forgetting to attach with. Its By no means Lose Contact characteristic can robotically ping lapsed contacts to maintain the dialog and collaboration alive. You may monitor how your deal with guide is rising, and kind folks by location, title or how a lot they’ve spent with you. Subsequent it’s including analytics to point out who messages who extra and different communication well being indicators.

“SuperPhone is the primary foray into private relationship administration,” says co-founder and CEO Ryan Leslie.

The Grammy-nominated R&B singer and producer made 2006’s top-five hit “M & U” for pop star Cassie, plus has created tracks for Usher and Britney Spears. However then he taught himself to program on Codecademy, realizing that the imploding file trade would flip being a profitable celeb right into a recreation of who had the very best instruments for connecting with followers.

The end result was SuperPhone — and Leslie giving all his listeners his telephone quantity. The app let him see who had spent essentially the most on his music and merch, and communicate with them on to preserve them loyal. Whereas different artists had been counting their meager streaming royalty pennies, Leslie was discovering out who would pay $1,700 for tickets to a non-public New Yr’s Eve live performance. SuperPhone turned his modest fame into huge income.

Hip-hop tremendous fan and VC tremendous star Ben Horowitz joined Leslie’s $1.5 million seed spherical alongside Betaworks and a slew of angels. Atlantic Data turned SuperPhone’s high enterprise consumer, managing half 1,000,000 conversations with followers of its artists, from Cardi B to Matchbox 20. Now the corporate has 22 staff and grander visions than equipping musicians.

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The unique product was centered round driving and tabulating purchases. The brand new SuperPhone (now obtainable on iOS and coming to Android quickly) focuses on the most typical deal with guide drawback: connecting with somebody necessary then drifting aside. Whether or not they’re buried by further contacts, misplaced attributable to forgetfulness, or issues simply get bizarre as a result of a lot time has handed, unintentional disconnection erodes the networks professionals attempt onerous to construct.

With SuperPhone’s patent-pending By no means Lose Contact, you select a time interval and create a number of customized reconnection messages. Anybody you haven’t talked to throughout that point receives one of many notes. That could possibly be one thing easy and organic-seeming like “Sorry I disappeared. What have you ever been as much as?” or extra particular like “Hey, it’s Josh Constine. You will have 10 minutes this week so I can get your ideas on some tech traits and listen to what you’re engaged on?”

SuperPhone prices about $zero.10 per energetic dialog per thirty days, so $20 for 200 or $100 for 1,000, that additionally comes with a Shopify e-commerce integration. That could possibly be workable for small-business homeowners and professionals speaking with shoppers that make them important income every. However at $1.20 per contact per yr, SuperPhone is likely to be too costly for influencers or artists attempting to remain in contact with a giant viewers. It should compete with different mass-texting instruments and CRM methods which have expanded into cellular, together with Hustle, ZipWhip, Teckst and Zingle.

New traders are betting on the thought of a Salesforce for the immediate messaging period, placing one other $2.5 million into SuperPhone to carry it to $four.7 million in complete funding. Runway Enterprise Companions’ Marc Michel led the spherical, with participation from FYRFLY Enterprise Companions, Yard Ventures and Transmedia Capital. SuperPhone’s progress signing up clients hasn’t been stellar, although, so the increase is taken into account a “seed prime” spherical with solely a barely greater valuation than the 2016 seed.

The money will go towards constructing out an API for connecting with conventional CRM software program and the enterprise texting instruments talked about above. That might bridge the hole between its pro-sumer product and true enterprise gross sales. The corporate has additionally struck a take care of a high telephone producer to develop its dialog well being analytics. That might give teenagers a free or backed approach to entry SuperPhone’s forthcoming dialog metrics. “Once we sat down with younger folks and stated ‘would you prefer to know who messages who extra in a relationship?,’ we’ve been met with overwhelmingly constructive outcomes,” says Leslie.

The danger of the product is that some customers or their contacts would possibly discover it inauthentic or disingenuous to ship pre-scripted reengagement messages. If it will get you legitimately speaking, possibly that’s OK. And a few folks settle for that it’s simply enterprise and it’s powerful to maintain up with everybody. I urged SuperPhone ship you a listing of individuals with whom you’ve lapsed you would possibly need to ping straight. Leslie says exams confirmed folks simply dismissed these reminders, so sending messages on customers’ behalf labored higher, however he’s nonetheless open to a much less aggressive implementation.

Between all our notifications, emails, and message threads, there’s simply an excessive amount of for folks to stability of their heads. We’re battling to interrupt previous Dunbar’s Quantity, a idea that claims you may solely preserve relationships with about 150 folks at a time. Expertise clearly ought to lengthen our potential for connectivity, however designing it to really feel pure somewhat than an arduous chore is the true problem.

The deal with guide is among the final manufacturer-made default apps we nonetheless depend upon, but the expertise is reliably terrible. Past searchability, it’s no smarter than pen and paper. Whether or not it’s reminding you to name mother, butter up that gross sales prospect, or coax a hiring candidate to go away their job, SuperPhone may change into what our telephones ought to have all the time been.

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