Zygo Communications, the UK mobile social networking messaging startup, completed a second round of business angel funding this week, the amount was not disclosed. Zygo has created an engine for group messaging across the web and mobile. Sounds a little like Twitter, right? Perhaps the difference is that Zygo will – when it launches its beta following this new funding – target advertising based on the groups’ profiles. It has developed an advertising engine that inserts targeted ads, links, promotions, content, whatever into each message, in a non-intrusive manner. In February it launched a consumer trial with AOL in the UK.
Right now Twitter is just telling me to ‘Call your mum’ or something equally inane, and paying for the privilege, at least in the UK where it has to pay for sent texts. Recently Twitter has started to limit the amount of inbound SMS in the UK to 250 texts per user per week, no doubt after being stunned by British addiction to the medium. ZYGOHubs uses a standard telephone number to enable individuals to communicate with their entire team or a group of friends, with one SMS. Zygo has also developed group voicemail and conference calling. The investment includes a second round of investment from Richard Brennan, a former executive with Orange, and current chairman of Zygo.
Assuming the service is free but ad-supported, Zygo could do pretty well with this model. Twitter is great for geeks who love the new applications like Snitter built on Twitter’s API, but the average Joe would just like to group text message and not be stung by huge charges.