Indian mobile marketing company ZipDial is preparing to expand into Southeast Asia after it announced Singapore’s Jungle Ventures as its latest investor, joining Times Internet and 500Startups among its backers.
Three-year-old ZipDial uses the concept of communication via free calls, which are popular in India, to channel marketing messages to mobile phone owners across the country. Consumers use free calls to pass on basic messages in India, but, with ZipDial, brands encourage consumers to ‘drop call’ their dedicated ZipDial hotline for a range of reasons, including pledges, voting, opinions, feedback, coupons and more.
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ZipDial aims to reach the Indian public through the most ubiquitous and simple form of communication — phone calls — while also providing a more qualitative system for marketing.
“Advertisers need more granular data on consumer preferences, and they cannot get this from [the] Internet (only 8 percent penetration), smartphones (only 4 percent penetration) or payment data (only 3 percent purchases on cards)” in India, the company explains on its website.
The company says that, to date, it has handled 410 million calls for more than 400 customers.
Jungle Ventures, which launched a $10 million ‘super angels’ fund last year, has come aboard with an undisclosed investment. Its founders will also lend their experience of growing companies in Southeast Asia, connections there and more, as Managing Partner Amit Anand explains:
“Having built businesses as well as our Jungle portfolio across Asia, we immediately saw the power of ZipDial’s innovative model and the team’s potential to be market leaders not only in India but across the region. Given the increasing spend of global and local advertisers in the booming markets of Southeast Asia, we fully support ZipDial’s expansion here as it lays an important foundation for the company’s future growth trajectory.”
A statement from ZipDial CEO and founder Valerie Wagoner explains that, while many Indian firms look to Western markets, the startup is focused on “tapping innovation and demand in this region [Asia]”. That focus will see it move into Southeast Asia now that Jungle Ventures’ investment and support is confirmed.
Before that, however, ZipDial has made a far shorter expansion after hopping over the border into Sri Lanka where the service has launched in partnership with Unilever and its Laojee tea brand.
Headline image via plenty / Flickr