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TalkPlus Debuts, Announces $5.5 Million Financing

Mobile VoIP plays are the rage at the moment.  According to Om Malik, this morning, Voice 2.0 player TalkPlus will unveil their first offering, and announce a $5.5 million series A financing from Menlo Ventures.

TalkPlus is certainly interesting.  Unlike Jajah, T@lkster, or Rebtel, all of which you’ve read about here in the past, TalkPlus is leading with features, rather than cheap minutes, which is a welcome shift to the next phase in the VoIP market.  TalkPlus is offering a second number for your mobile phone, to allow people to better manage their personal and work lives, but from a single handset.  Unlike offerings from handset vendors that have been around for some time, albeit used only by a small number of people, the TalkPlus solution doesn’t require an additional SIM.  Simply sign up for the service, and the TalkPlus platform takes care of the rest.

Their market entry strategy is to focus on people with privacy needs — in this case, dating.  Talkplus gives subscribers a unique TalkPlus number for placing and receving dating-related calls, as well as a contact center for better managing those relationships.

Coming this winter, TalkPlus will add the ability to have multiple TalkPlus numbers on a single handset, plus the ability to select outbound numbers to present, including landline numbers, for an additional layer of privacy.  Oh… and cheap international calling minutes.

Fundamentally, TalkPlus is an identity play that leverages an idiom we’re all familiar with — the telephone number.  By giving you unique telephone numbers which you can hand out for specific purposes, TalkPlus gives you more control over how and which callers can reach you. It’s a real need, as has been noted repeatedly on these very pages.  TalkPlus offers the same capabilities as having multiple email addresses, all reaching the same inbox, or multiple IM identities terminating on a single multi-headed IM client. 

The metaphor is understandable, but the real magic may be in presenting a single identity from any handset.  With a single contact point presented to the world, the value of one-number solutions is dramatically multiplied.  Certainly that’s an issue we’ve wrestled with at iotum.  TalkPlus is a welcome and complementary solution.Â

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