TalkTo, Inc. announced today the launch of talkto: BostonÔ, a version of its messaging service that enables Boston-area residents to text any store, restaurant, salon, hotel or other type of business. TalkTo also announced the closing of its $3 million Series A funding from Matrix Partners, which will be used to fuel a national rollout later this year.
TalkTo first emerged in limited beta in September 2011 with an audacious goal: to make it possible to text any business whenever you want, and get a text response from the business in return. Designed to look and feel like SMS, the app lets anyone inquire about products and services, book appointments and reservations, or ask other questions with a text message.
“For too long, businesses have told us how and when to contact them,” said Stuart Levinson, co-founder and CEO of TalkTo. “It’s time to blow up the old model and put the consumer first. We want to contact businesses as easily as we text our friends so we can get on with our day. We want our time back.”
“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 and TalkTo board member. “TalkTo breaks down the barriers between consumers and businesses without compromising the ways in which each prefers to communicate.”
Since businesses already have lots of ways to respond to customers via email, SMS, web chat, phone and third-party apps, TalkTo will route messages to their preferred channel. If a business replies via email, for example, TalkTo users still receive it as a text message. This means a business can take advantage of TalkTo without installing or learning anything new.
Businesses like the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., have already embraced the new service to make it easier for customers to engage. “From phone to email to social media, we have always strived to be as accessible as possible to our guests” says General Manager, Alex Attia. “With TalkTo, we give our guests an ability to text with us as well.”
The talkto: Boston app is now available for residents in the Greater Boston area to text any business across America.
Users can download it from the App Store or access it via Android and other mobile devices on the Web at talkto.com. Anyone can sign up to be notified first once the app is extended beyond Boston.