Deals

TalkPlus raises $5.5 million to offer you many lines, including VoIP, on cell phone

TalkPlus, a San Mateo provider of muliple phone lines for your cell phone, has raised a $5.5 million first round in venture capital from Menlo Ventures.

TalkPlus gives users multiple phone numbers on a single phone — up to ten, that you can receive calls on, and dial out from. It lets you dial into your VoIP account, via Skype for example, so that you can make near-free calls (the phone uses a local line to get to TalkPlus’ network, which then forwards the call through Skype).

You can do this by going to the TalkPlus web site, and downloading a Java or WAP application to your phone, depending on what you have. TalkPlus will be supporting more phones in the coming months, said Jeff Black, chief executive.

The service will be tested with a limited group of users beginning in a few weeks, and will launch nationwide in early 2007.

TalkPlus wants to serve dating sites, for example, providing users special numbers for placing and receiving dating-related calls, and a contact center for managing relationships. Or a lawyer with multiple numbers could have dedicated numbers for major clients, as well as a separate personal phone number. A medium-sized business owner could have mobile numbers for business locations in each region.

Subscribers will be able to add additional numbers that they already own • such as a wire line home or office number • to their mobile phone. Physicians could then have their office number appear on their patients’ caller ID screen, for example, while they actually call from their mobile phone.