Enflick, the creator of free text messaging application TextNow and instant messaging application PingChat!, has inked more than $1 million in seed financing, the company announced Wednesday. Freestyle Capital led the round with participation by the Menlo Talent Fund, Menlo Ventures’ Seed Program. Individual investors also joined in, including Troy Carter, the manager for Lady Gaga; and Scooter Braun, manager for pop star Justin Bieber.
The creators of TextNow, the leading free and unlimited picture and text messaging application, and PingChat!, a free cross-platform instant messaging application, today announced that they have secured more than $1 million in seed funding. Co-founders Derek Ting and Jon Lerner, pioneers for high quality, easy-to-use, no cost social communications software, said that they will use the seed funding to extend their company’s technology innovation, focusing on developing and delivering solutions that further enhance and transform interpersonal connectivity.
Freestyle Capital led the funding round with participation by the Menlo Talent Fund, Menlo Ventures’ Seed Program. Contributors also included independent investors and talent managers Troy Carter, the widely recognized manager for multi-platinum Grammy award winner Lady Gaga; and Scooter Braun, manager for teenage singing phenomenon Justin Bieber.
In addition to the funding round, the TextNow and PingChat! pioneers also announced today that their company has won a coveted Companies-to-Watch Award, one of four separate awards categories that make up the 2011 Deloitte Technology Fast 50(TM) Awards. The Companies-to-Watch Award honors early-stage Canadian technology companies in business less than five years.
“Companies-to-Watch award winners frequently go on to score high rankings in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 once they have a five-year track record,” said Richard Lee, National Leader, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group, Deloitte. “Enflick has quickly distinguished itself for its innovative technology and entrepreneurship and this award recognizes its potential as a future leader in the Canadian technology industry.”
“Coinciding with the funding round and the prominence of our investors, the Deloitte award speaks even more to the caliber of our technology, as well as the momentum that we’ve achieved through TextNow and PingChat!” said Derek Ting, co-founder and CEO, Enflick, developer of TextNow and PingChat! “Our goal has always been to transform social connectivity with the highest quality, low- and no-cost online texting and messaging solutions that can be easily implemented across different platforms and from any location in the world. This funding allows us to maintain that focus as we continue to break new ground with solutions coming down the pipeline.”
“Freestyle is excited to build on the success of TextNow and PingChat! and collaborate with Derek and Jon as they continue to conceive and bring to market social software solutions,” said Dave Samuel, co-founder of Freestyle Capital. “The team has a keen eye as to what’s needed to improve and facilitate social connections online, as well as a proven commitment to making their solutions affordable and accessible to a broad audience.”
“With TextNow and PingChat!, the company founders have shown that they have a solid technology vision, as well as a demonstrated ability to execute on that vision in building a multi-million dollar profitable business with millions of users without any funding to date,” said Shervin Pishevar, Menlo Ventures. “Enflick perfectly embodies the kind of company that the Menlo Talent Fund is looking to back.”
TextNow and PingChat! – 21.5 Million Users Worldwide and Growing
Combined, TextNow and PingChat! serve more than a billion impressions per month with 21.5 million users worldwide. With a solid customer base, the company anticipates even higher growth as it continues to infuse existing and new technologies with innovative connectivity capabilities, making it possible to instantaneously ‘touch’ different social groups and communities through the lightness of a fingertip. The company founders envision a future where individuals can connect seamlessly in real time with the relationships that are most important to them.
The company is well on its way. Over 300 million text messages are sent each month using TextNow – providing a fast and reliable service for text messaging – at absolutely no cost to the user. The PingChat! cross-platform instant messaging application supports real-time conversations, group chat, and media sharing, including videos, pictures and voice notes. Because TextNow and PingChat! allow for the sending and receiving of texts or instant messaging through a user’s data plan or any WiFi connection, both products all but eliminate expensive service provider costs.
TextNow supports all iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. PingChat! supports iOS devices (OS version 3.0+), as well as the Android (1.5-2.3) and Blackberry (5.0+).
About the Deloitte “Companies-to-Watch”
The majority of Companies-to-Watch winners are potential global leaders in technology sectors that didn’t even exist five years ago. To win the award, companies must display the kind of management expertise and superior technology that mark a successful early-stage company poised for continued growth. To qualify for the Companies-to-Watch Award, candidates must have been operating less than five years. They must also be headquartered in Canada and devote a significant portion of their operating revenues to creating proprietary technology and/or intellectual property.
Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Enflick is a leading provider of high quality and affordable social software solutions designed to change the way that individuals connect with each other online. Between its core products, TextNow and PingChat!, the company has 21.5 million users worldwide and serves more than a billion impressions per month. Since TextNow went viral in 2009, Enflick has achieved a 400 percent year-over-year growth.
Enflick is committed to designing user-friendly products that make connecting online easier and simulate how people engage in real life with the exact same immediacy and continuity.