I’ve been tracking the progress of CallVine very closely since meeting company CEO Rudy Prince several months ago. It has always seemed to me that the capacity for my iPhone to manage group communications has always been lacking. When I saw Rudy at the most recent Austin Tech Happy Hour, I was excited to hear that the app had been submitted to the app store for review. Today, the company is officially announcing the general availability (I just downloaded 1.0.1 today), and pricing details.
The function of the “Call & Text” app is actually simple, yet really cool. Give the app the phone numbers of a group of people that you want to have a conference call with, and the app will ring them all up simultaneously and put you all together. It will even go down a list of phone numbers for a contact, and try them in whichever order you want, like work, cell, then home. Group text messages are also neat addition.
Company CEO Rudy Prince is a tech veteran, having founded pioneering company eFax back in the early days of the web. He founded Callvine back in February, and landed $4M in venture capital from S3 Ventures to launch the company. He had a unique opportunity to acquire technology from another company that was key in launching rapidly.
I asked Rudy about the target use case for the new product. “We are definitely targeting business users with our service and especially the SOHO and SMB markets” he said. “Currently, both consumers and mobile professionals can benefit from our service using our iPhone app, however, we intend to launch other advanced features and expand to additional platforms in the fall which will more directly target business users.”
It’s great to see so many technology companies in Austin securing solid early stage financing this year. Why start this company in Austin? Rudy continued “Austin is a great place for iPhone launches with a solid network of developers, users and many of the early adopters that help to drive these markets. While most of us in the company have spent time in Silicon Valley and we’re a bit virtual in having people on the West Coast today, Austin is a great hub with a lot of expertise in mobile and telecom services and offers a great quality of life.”