- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Last week I met with 211me CEO Robert DeFranco to discuss the 211me service. 211me is basically a mobile mashup creator – it takes the information you have and creates fancy, styled mobile cards that you can share.
There are several uses for these cards including: for fun with friends, bars and venues can use the cards to promote an event, and as a business card replacement. I could see consumer-facing companies using these cards to promote a product or marketing campaign.
211me works like any text messaging – you sms to a code and it sends you back the requested mobile card. If your phone supports mobile browsing, you get the full experience. If not, you get just the text message with the pertinent details. This makes the service accessible on 100% of mobile devices.
I think the idea of having to click to open a browser and then view a card and then take some action from it could be very limiting for the service – especially for mobile users who are new to texting.
DeFranco says that Mozes is probably the closest competitor to 211me. There’s also a couponing API that allows stylized coupons like the ones below to be sent out – this is a local marketing play.
Part of me thinks that 211me would be smart to seperate the "fun" side from the "marketing" side. The marketing side is where this type of offering could really take off. Get the right celebrity, movie or product to push their cards and it could hit the sweet spot. This is assuming that the technology is as easy to use as possible. Just getting the boring text message is probably not a "win" overall.
211me is based just outside Boston and was founded in 2007. They have raised $1.7 million to-date and have filed several patents. The 211me application went live quietly in March 2008 and they have started to promote the app last month.
Here are a few sample 211me cards: