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TalkTo, a mobile application that consumers can use to communicate directly with businesses, launched today at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 conference in San Francisco.
With TalkTo, users type a text message in the company’s mobile application asking a local business for something they need — like a bouquet of flowers or a hotel room. TalkTo automatically determines what the best way to communicate with that business is — text message, Twitter or email — and relays the message. If you send a message to a business TalkTo has not learned about, TalkTo’s call center will make a call on behalf of the app and send the answer back to you as a text message.
“TalkTo literally lets you send a message to any local business even if you’ve never talked to them before,” company co-founder Stuart Levinson said. “We really want this to be about text — we’re sure there will be other opportunities but we want to completely simplify this.”
The company will include premium features for users who don’t want to use the text function and would always like to have the call center act as an assistant. The company also plans to use a lead-generation model where they partner with local businesses to direct new customers.
“It reminds me of what Uber has done for transportation, I love the idea of jumping on and doing a quick text,” Digg founder and angel investor Kevin Rose said. “It makes complete sense.”
The company was founded in November, 2010 and has raised $500,000. It is located in Cambridge, Mass.