Hello James from the mjelly mobile 2.0 blog here at Mobile Industry Review with another Mobile 2.0 Service of the Week. Fring is an amazing bit of mobile software that I’ve been using for a while and always planned to cover as one of our featured apps. Earlier this week, (Monday) it was announced that Fring had won the Mobile Monday Peer Awards in the “emerging startups” category.
So – what better time to take a look at what they are building…
What is it?
Fring is a mobile VoIP and communications client available on iphone, Symbian, Java and Windows Mobile. Fring users can make free calls to each other over the system. The app also integrates with a range of third party VoIP and communications services including Skype, GoogleTalk, MSN Messenger and Twitter. Recently they have also begun to add other services such as Last.fm to the mix. Fring also lets you access all your contacts/ buddies from a single list.
Fring is doing pretty nicely in terms of traction with 400,000 new downloads and activations per month.
The company is based in Israel and has raised $13m + in funding over three rounds from Pitango Venture Capital, Veritas Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, VenFin
Why is it interesting?
Fring is trying to do something really big i.e. become the “Skype of Mobile”. This is a tough thing to do as they are running up against the operators on one side and the competition on the other. For example, Nimbuzz and Mig33 both combine VoIP, messaging and mobile.
One thing I like about Fring is that it has been clever about developing mobile viral marketing approaches to help spread the word about its service. For example, when a user logs in to an instant messaging service like gtalk using Fring their status is changed to include the Fring URL – clever…
Another interesting thing about Fring is how passionate its users are which Fring has done a lot to promote and capture – for example they have a very lively discussion forum on their site and a nice blog which keeps people up to date on the service. Fring is really a very good example of best practice in this area.
So – well done Fring for winning the award – looking forward to seeing what they come up with next…
That’s it from me – see you next week for another Mobile 2.0 Service of the Week.