SMS email provider Teleflip is shutting down their Flipmail service on Friday. When they premiered at DEMO in 2007, the premise was that everyone could have email on their mobile phone, without having to buy a smart phone. The company burst onto the scene with a coast-to-coast PR blitz resulting in breathless headlines with the message that any cellphone could act like a BlackBerry. Now that smartphones have reached the tipping point, driven by red hot products from Apple and RIM, it’s easy to see how Teleflip would have come under increasing pressure.
And so, in a manner befitting Teleflip’s business, just a few minutes ago I received the final Flipmail from the team. Delivered by SMS in three pieces it reads:
Subj: Important Note From Teleflip
Dear Teleflip Beta User: Thanks for being part of the beta testing group using our Flipmail service, however, we are now ending this service. We’ve gone as far as we can with our financial sources, and the piggy bank is empty. Effective Friday August 15, 2008 at 9:00AM Pacific Daylight Time,
Ex-employees I spoke with spoke of budgetary cuts, and that most employees, excepting the C-Suite, had been laid off in January to reduce burn in an effort to conserve cash while raising additional capital. None could confirm that the company was indeed winding up, however, and suggested I reach out to CEO Tony Davis. We’ll see what he has to say.
Judging by the fact that their website security certificate expired 4 days ago, I would say that things don’t look promising.