I first met Tokiva’s Tong Li about a year ago when our mutual friend, William Bao Bean, introduced us. Over lunch, in Toronto, Tong showed Howard and myself a relatively modest SMS call back service running on a mobile handset, accompanied by some basic presence features. We left the meeting, promising to stay in touch, as Tong was preparing to move himself to Beijing and recruit a development team.
Fast forward to today’s announcement — Tokiva has emerged from six months of beta test, announced an investment from Zurich based BrainsToVentures, won accolades from their peers, and claims to be growing faster than Skype did in it’s early days. Tokiva has more than 800,0000 users globally.
Moreover, the business has matured. With a sharply defined expat target, they’ve narrowed in on a well defined segment. Now, with a reseller model, mobile email, conferencing, voicemail, SMS and IM call back, and more, they can also make good on their claim of being the worlds first software VNO.
Congratulations Tong. Your business has come a long way since our lunch a year ago.