Florida State University’s athletic department has been able to accelerate its ticketing sales cycle by adding text messaging to the process. Using ZipWhip to give its box office phone number text messaging functionality; FSU has seen an increase in the percentage of responders to their outreach, faster response times and increased conversation rates. ZipWhip technology enables two-way texting between businesses and their customers, while the underlying platform facilitates the conversation much in the same way that Outlook or Gmail does for email communication. The company has increased reoccurring monthly revenues by 60% over the last 10 months, picking up clients in a variety of phone intensive industries (i.e. insurance, medical, auto sales).
Howie Long-Short: You can’t invest directly in ZipWhip; as it remains privately held, but Microsoft Ventures participated in both their $9 million Series B funding round as well as the $22.5 million Series C round that was just announced. Microsoft Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Microsoft (MSFT).
Fan Marino: Mobile Marketing Watch has indicated that while only 20% of emails are opened, 98% of texts are. I need to meet the 2% of people who have the discipline to avoid checking their text messages when that little number icon appears, because I don’t believe they exist. Of course, if I start getting text messages offering me erectile dysfunction medications, I’ll stop checking my texts too.