CHICAGO, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Ifbyphone, a voice infrastructure and applications development company providing enterprise class systems to Small and Medium Businesses (SMB's), today announced that it has secured $2.75 million in series A funding. An additional $250,000 of capacity remaining in this round is expected to close this quarter.
CHICAGO, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ — Ifbyphone, a voice infrastructure and applications development company providing enterprise class systems to Small and Medium Businesses (SMB's), today announced that it has secured $2.75 million in series A funding. An additional $250,000 of capacity remaining in this round is expected to close this quarter.
The funding round was jointly led by Origin Ventures and Apex Venture Partners, which are making their first investments in the company, aggregating $2.25 million. Cogitations, a company owned by Ifbyphone's founder and CEO, Irv Shapiro, provided $1.5 million of seed capital to found the company and $500,000 in this round of funding.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to provide enterprise quality voice applications to SMB's. These applications integrate the web and telephone infrastructure of an SMB, increasing sales and reducing service delivery costs. Having spent 2005 conducting research and development and 2006 in marketplace trials we are now ready for volume product rollout. As part of this rollout we will expand our network of channel partners," says Irv Shapiro, CEO.
Increasingly complex technology has widened the gap between the services available to Fortune 500 companies and to small businesses. Traditionally, IVR solutions that delivered custom automated call routing, customer surveys, out-dialed marketing campaigns, web to telephony integration and information collection applications have been out of reach for small businesses. The Ifbyphone proprietary IVR framework delivers a hosted VoiceXML, web configured solution to small businesses, starting at only $14.95 per month with no programming or IVR knowledge necessary. Ifbyphone CEO Irv Shapiro is targeting the 4-6 million SMB's in the U.S. with a sophisticated web-based presence.
"Ifbyphone is entering a wide open market with a competitive offering that we anticipate will succeed. Additionally, we have great confidence that Ifbyphone's strong and experienced management team will be able to achieve the goals they have set," says Bruce Barron of Origin Ventures.
"The first thing that attracted us to Ifybphone was a sound go-to-market strategy targeting SMB's that have a need to make websites more interactive to accelerate their e-commerce strategies. The emergence of open source Asterisk software coupled with the demand for VOIP services and a strong web presence makes the timing right for a company like Ifbyphone," says Wayne Boulais of Apex Venture Partners.
Businesses use the Ifbyphone services to increase their web site's conversion rate and return on investment through the integration of web 2.0 and voice 2.0 technologies. It helps them put their finger on the pulse of their customers by deploying the latest in marketing techniques through click to call, web integrated toll free numbers, voice broadcasts and sophisticated, voice-based surveys. These services reduce SMB costs through the use of presence aware virtual receptionists, call routing, find me call transfers, voice mail with email forwarding of messages and web integration via the Ifbyphone call routing API.
Ifbyphone, Inc. is a hosted voice infrastructure and application development company with a sophisticated new approach to the deployment of automated voice-based systems accessible from any telephone (PSTN, mobile, or VOIP). Unlike text and video-based cell phone and PDA applications, Ifbyphone solutions are accessible by anyone with a telephone. By integrating the sophisticated voice recognition and state of the art text to speech technologies, Ifbyphone turns cell phones, home phones, or business phones into superior voice communication devices.
The Ifbyphone applications are available direct to consumers at http://www.ifbyphone.com and for resale and private label deployments.
About Origin Ventures
Origin Ventures is a venture capital firm investing in early-stage companies. The firm invests capital and leverages its entrepreneurial, marketing and management expertise to help facilitate the growth of early-stage companies. The principals of Origin Ventures have been involved in successful entrepreneurial activities since the mid 1980's.
About Apex Venture Partners
Apex Venture Partners is a national venture capital firm based in Chicago. With more than 20 years of experience financing early stage IT businesses, Apex has invested in more than 140 companies since inception. The partners at Apex look for companies that have unique products or services that address large potential markets in which customer needs are not being addressed.