Sonopia, two-year-old Menlo Park, Ca. company launches service tomorrow that lets anyone — even you — create their own mobile carrier.
You can create your own calling plan, within limits of course, and sending your customers alerts and other information based on your own interests. If you are a food lover, you can create a carrier for gourmands to subscribe to, and message them with the latest restaurant specials, menus and other events, for example. It takes a “matter of minutes” to set up.
Ok, we can’t quite guarantee you will become a media magnate overnight. But you can dream at least! [Clarification: While it doesn't cost you anything to set up your carrier, you only get between three and eight percent of your subscribers' monthly payments, depending on how many subscribers you have.]
Sonopia, which raised $9 million from venture firms ComVentures and Sevin Rosen to build out its service, announced that several organizations are using Sonopia to offer their own services. For example, the National Wildlife Fund offers a basic plan for $39.95 for 450 minutes, but gives you a range of phones and packages (see screenshot below). Subscribers get to feel good that a portion of every dollar spent goes to support the polar bears and other endgangered species and causes of the NWF — instead of simply as profit in the coffers of some faceless corporation like Sprint.
Founder and chief executive Juha Christensen worked before for Symbian, then ran Microsoft’s mobile division, and then did a stint at Macromedia.
Sonopia handles all the details • from service to handset deliver, marketing help, bill management and customer service.
Other organizations that launch with Sonopia tomorrow (Monday) include Long Island Ducks (minor-league baseball), Chicago Bandits (pro women’s fastpitch softball), American Medical Student Association, International Animated Film Society-Hollywood, and Omicron Delta Kappa (national leadership honor society).