How often do you watch TV, read a magazine, talk to friends or see a billboard and think, “I should check that out” or “I should e-mail that to a friend”? Ever tried to remember a long URL for a special offer in a magazine or billboard? Kwiry hopes to change that by letting people turn their mobile phone’s text messages into online reminders.
kwiry, a San Francisco-based startup, came out of stealth mode this morning, announcing the official launch of its mobile/web service at kwiry.com. Kwiry’s platform allows advertisers, magazines, TV networks, and radio stations to use text messages in order to drive traffic from mobile phones to their websites in a unique way.
Ron Feldman, Israeli-American co-founder and CEO explains to VC Cafe:
“kwiry lets anyone text reminders to their computer for later. The basic idea is that you’re out and about and you see something you want to remember or check out later – you text it to 59479 (K-W-I-R-Y) and it’s waiting for you at kwiry.com and in your email. If you consider the amount of media cues we all see on a daily basis, it’s a pretty handy tool for anyone with a cell phone. kwiry appeals to anyone who’s comfortable with texting and the site lets you bring your community to kwiry.com (with friends, photos, comments) or lets you bring your kwirys to your community (it works with facebook, iGoogle, myYahoo, et al.)”
On the business side, kwiry works with partners and advertisers to help drive offline audiences online. So far, Kwiry has been running successful pilots with HGTV and GamePro magazine. GamePro Magazine currently uses kwiry to drive thousands of its print readers to GamePro.com. HGTV is pilot testing kwiry for the show “Don’t Sweat It” to drive viewers to project information and videos at HGTV.com. Partners measure results with online reports or through Omniture’s Site Catalyst, which is integrated with kwiry’s analytics platform.
Both partners place unique codes in their publications and shows for audiences to text to 59479 (K-W-I-R-Y). The moto is simple – ‘Text it before you forget it’, and indeed, the term in the text message becomes part of the user’s online list of reminders, with all the relevant information from search engines, social networks and reference sites.
Kwiry was founded in 2006 by Ron Feldman, former GM of the Media & Entertainment Product at Tellme Networks, and Steve Au, a former “wannabe astronaut” at the Ames Research Center (NASA). Kwiry has received $1M in backing from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners last year.
Kwiry has a big challenge ahead, but as Ron described to me:
There’s a lot of excitement in the mobile space these days, but I really feel kwiry stands out as something with a potential for mass appeal.