YouMail, a visual voicemail provider, plans to use the proceeds from a $5.5 million Series B funding round to expand its user base. The Irvine, Calif.-based company already boasts more than 6.5 million registered users.
YouMail CEO Alex Quilici told CMSWire the company we’ll plans to spend money to "drive awareness and use" in its target markets.
"YouMail has grown organically through a very lean team -- that is, we’ve spent no money to drive user acquisition, and we’ve had a limited development team. We’re now able to much more rapidly iterate on the service," he added.
'Like a Secretary'
YouMail has about 30 employees. The company launched in 2007 to sell services to telecom carriers, but pivoted in 2010 to provide direct to consumer services.
Its flagship product is a digital personal assistant that replaces voicemail on Android, iPhone and Windows Phones. It's like hiring a secretary, Quilici said.
"Handling calls takes up a lot of time. YouMail frees up that time with an automated solution that provides a compelling caller experience," he added.
It's designed to identify callers, filter unwanted calls, offer a greeting, capture contact information and provide callers alternate forms of contact.
The YouMail app replaces existing smart phone visual voicemail. Features include visual caller ID, automated caller blocking, personalized smart greetings, automatic replies, cloud storage, multi-platform access to messages and call routing.
So who's the competition? The voicemail service that comes with someone’s mobile phone.
"YouMail has significant intelligence built into its service to provide a much more compelling experience for callers," Quilici said, "while simultaneously saving significant time for its users."
YouMail raised its latest funding last month as a private placement, taking advantage of the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The act removed the ban on general solicitation and general advertising in private placements, allowing YouMail to market its offering through the Internet and webcasts.
The JOBS Act provides an alternative to venture capital, Quilici said. "This is attractive for a company like YouMail with a consumer service," he said, "because those investors can try the service and understand its value."