4INFO, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company that enables ad-supported text messaging campaigns for media companies, has raised $20 million in a round of funding that includes both equity and debt. Existing investors Peacock Equity and Gannett (NYSE: GCI), US Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Sand Hill Capital participated in the round. New investor, Selby Ventures, also participated.
The funding will be used to serve traditional media companies that are looking for integrated mobile campaigns, and develop marketing and media technologies. Already, it has delivered campaigns for a number of national brands, including Marriott, Philips, McDonalds, GM, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures. In all, it says it delivers more than 80 million alerts via text message a month, and has an ad network that reaches 16 million users. The text-messaging and advertising space is not new, but it’s unknown how customers will react as they become more commonplace. Even recently, AT&T (NYSE: T) was called out for sending messages to subscribers to remind them of the American Idol season premiere. 4INFO, which has now raised a $40 million to date, will also face a crowed marketplace with a number of companies, like Singlepoint, 2ergo, Distributive Networks and MoVoxx, all providing slightly different services.
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