Last week, I included Mobivox as one route to call your Skype contacts from any of the 3.5 billion conventional phones out there, whether landline or mobile (including the iPhone and Blackberries). I had the opportunity to get an update on Mobivox and its user demographics in a discussion with Mobivox CEO Stephane Marceau.
Their big news last week was the announcement of an $11 million financing round involving not only their original investors but adding in new Asian investors. The interest of Asian investors was aroused when Mobivox was able to point out that they were finding significant Mobivox usage by Asians. In fact, their top six countries for usage are: U.S., U.K., China, India, Canada, Germany and Israel. Funds are to be used for both marketing and development of new features and services.
Another interesting statistic arising out of their user base demographics is that over 20% of their users are over 55. Seems like Mobivox is being used to close family connections where the senior generation can easily make calls via Mobivox from any familiar telephone device, whether at home or traveling. Often they find a younger generation registering their parents.
Recently they also added the capability to launch calls via either SMS or a web interface — especially useful for making calls from countries not included in their base of 40 countries with access points.
Goals for the next year include simplifying the user experience and more advanced features that leverage speech as a user interface. (Recall that Mobivox works by dialing an access number and then speaking a "registered" contact name to the VoxGirl who then makes the connection; speech recognition is one of their core technologies.)
Just to recall, beyond any carrier charges to reach an access point, calls between Mobivox subscribers or from a Mobivox user to a Skype user are free; while calls to conventional phones have rates dependent on the termination country, starting at 1.9 cents/minute to Canada, U.S., China and many European countries’ landlines. And they offer a first time free 10 minutes to encourage user trial.
Note: Mobivox CEO Stephane Marceau will be amongst the panelists at a session, Going Mobile with Skype – Beep, Beep, at VON Boston in ten days.
Saunderslog: Mobivox and Truphone: What kind of mobile user are you?
Tags: Mobivox, Skype
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