SuperPhone is building a Salesforce for texting

SuperPhone is building a Salesforce for texting
From TechCrunch - January 29, 2018

The address book is the last, worst default app you rely on. Its time it got as smart as the rest of our phones. Thats the idea behind SuperPhone.

Email isnt how you build relationships anymore. Yet most business software sanctifies the spammy inbox when itsthe immediacy of text messaging that keeps people in touch today. Musician Ryan Leslie learned that when he earned $2 million by building a custom text management product to track, talk to and transact with his fans. Now hes turning SuperPhone into a full-fledged CRM for SMS with a new app and round of funding.

Designed for entrepreneurs, entertainers and anyone juggling clients or sales contacts, SuperPhone tells you who youre forgetting to connect with. Its Never Lose Touch feature can automatically ping lapsed contacts to keep the conversation and collaboration alive. You can monitor how your address book is growing, and sort people by location, title or how much theyve spent with you. Next its adding analytics to show who messages who more and other communication health signals.

SuperPhone is the first foray into personal relationship management, says co-founder and CEO Ryan Leslie.

The Grammy-nominated R&B singer and producer made 2006s top-five hit M & U for pop star Cassie, plus has created tracks for Usher and Britney Spears. But then he taught himself to program on Codecademy,realizing that the imploding record industry would turn being a successful celebrity into a game of who had the best tools for connecting with fans.

The result was SuperPhone and Leslie giving all his listeners his phone number. The app let him see who had spent the most on his music and merch, and speak with them directly to keep them loyal. While other artists were counting their meager streaming royalty pennies, Leslie was finding out who would pay $1,700 for tickets to a private New Years Eve concert. SuperPhone turned his modest fame into massive revenue.

Hip-hop super fan and VC super star Ben Horowitz joined Leslies $1.5 million seed round alongside Betaworks and a slew of angels. Atlantic Records became SuperPhones top enterprise client, managing half a million conversations with fans of its artists, from Cardi B to Matchbox 20. Now the company has 22 employees and grander visions than equipping musicians.

The original product was centered around driving and tabulating purchases. The new SuperPhone (now available on iOS and coming to Android soon) focuses on the most common address book problem: connecting with someone important then drifting apart. Whether theyre buried by additional contacts, lost due to forgetfulness, or things just get weird because so much time has passed, accidental disconnection erodes the networks professionals try hard to build.


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