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Summary:

Pinger, a San Jose, Calif.-based voice messaging start-up, has received a fresh cash infusion to the tune of $8 million dollars, sources say. The latest round of funding includes previous backer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. DAG Ventures is the new investor in this round, and […]

Pinger, a San Jose, Calif.-based voice messaging start-up, has received a fresh cash infusion to the tune of $8 million dollars, sources say. The latest round of funding includes previous backer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. DAG Ventures is the new investor in this round, and perhaps the lead investor. John Cadeddu from DAG led the investment. Company officials declined to comment.

Pinger launched at DEMO earlier this year, and is essentially the next generation voice messaging service. Instead of leaving someone a voice mail, you ping them, and that results in a text message being sent to them, which can be clicked to listen to that voice mail. Check out this DEMO video to get a better idea on how it works. Though quite simple, Pinger has a bit of latency in its user experience.


Last time we met with co-founder Joe Sipher, we chatted about that, and were encouraged that they were working hard to make the experience better. One suggestion we had for them: a Pinger widget that can also be put into our Netvibes page, or on our Vista desktop. Of course, a tiny Pinger widget for OS X: priceless.

By Om Malik

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  1. how much funding – thus far – for this service?!

    sorry, the level of investment/scope for this service just does not add up for me …

    bizarre.

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  2. My last company, Trekmail, founded in 2000, did the same thing. While we might have added a couple things today, there is not much we’d have done differently, except not get into this business in the first place.

    Users loved the service, but nobody wanted to pay for it as a stand-alone product. The carriers hate these services because they cannibalize voice minutes that are worth at least $0.10-0.20 per message in airtime.

    And that’s the rub.

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  3. Seriously? $8 million? For something that’s already installed on most phones via caller ID and voicemail alerts? Bwahahahaha!

    Hey, if anyone’s reading this I can create an app that does something amazing…

    Pay attention…

    Are you ready for this…

    The app will send you an email every time someone sends you a text message to your phone so you will automatically know you have a text message on your cell phone when you are at your computer! Isn’t that great!? I think a $7 million first round is in order, don’t you? LOL

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  4. We do exactly this, as a side service. It’s a literally a weekend worth of hacking for someone who knows their way around Asterisk (or that’s how long it took us).

    I was amused by the first 3 million, another 8 is just pathetic.

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  5. Come on now…this service is supposed to make life easier? It really doesn’t seem like it. If anything it’s more complicated. And then to have 8 million invested in it???? THAT’S ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!! Although, I have to admit that it’s nice to know that money is out there for the NOT SO PRACTICAL IDEAS. Which gives me a lot hope for my own venture…

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  6. Hey Om >> How abt a thought for a fellow Silicon Valley Technologist and CNET senior editor James Kim who passed away in a terrible accident this week. I know you r not a news column — but have a heart …

    Kamahl

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  7. Last October GotVoice received $3 million. It provides a cool voicemail service that E-Mails you your voicemail. It’s free and you can check it out at http://www.gotvoice.com.

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  8. To investors who are reading this:

    I don’t need 8 millions. I can replicate the whole thing with top system performance and user experience in a day with 500k. if interested, drop me a line at bb4433@mail.com

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  9. i see where such start up propositions are heading, now …

    if you’ve got vmail we’ll convert it to email and vmail you we’ve done so as an sms/txt – if you’ve got email we’ll convert it to vmail and email you that we’ve done so via sms/txt – if you’ve got a sms/txt message we’ll convert it to vmail and an email and sms/txt you we’ve done so – if you’ve got an IM/RSS we’ll convert it to all of the above and send you a fax …

    in this always-connected/multi-function portable device world why do we need such irrelevant – archaic even – ‘services’?

    what does and doesn not get funded never ceases to amaze me. this is one of the most absurd i have heard about in a long time. and the scale of funding involved makes it all the more ludicrous.

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  10. this service would be useful to make a mass announcement to clients from a business aspect. What other services are out there that does this?

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