LAS VEGAS, CTIA WIRELESS (April 2, 2008) – Vlingo Corporation today announced that it has secured $20 million in Series B financing. Led by Yahoo! Inc., the round also included existing investors Charles River Ventures and Sigma Partners. Vlingo will use the capital to fuel international expansion and continue its product research and development. As part of the investment, a Yahoo! nominee will join vlingo’s board of directors.
Leveraging this relationship, Yahoo! today announced the launch of a voice-enabled version of Yahoo! oneSearch™, a revolutionary new mobile search client that supports unstructured, open-ended voice searches that allows the consumer to speak their query as they would type it into the search box. (See separate announcement, “Vlingo Provides Voice Recognition for Yahoo!’s oneSearch Mobile Search Service”.)
“Yahoo! is a pioneer in mobile services and continues to revolutionize the mobile Internet experience. We launched Yahoo! oneSearch globally in 2007 and defined the standard of excellence for mobile search services,” said Steve Boom, senior vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo!, Inc. “By integrating vlingo’s innovative speech recognition technology into Yahoo! oneSearch, we’re taking mobile search to the next level and enabling consumers to get the answers they want by simply speaking into their mobile phone.”
Vlingo launched a beta version of its voice-powered interface in August 2007 and was subsequently named one of IDC’s “Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008.” Its first beta application, vlingo find, enabled users to look up any local establishment with the power of their voices while on-the-go without having to use constrained language choices.
“We have been thrilled by the market interest in vlingo since our beta launch last year,providing true confirmation of the revolutionary technology we have developed,” said Dave Grannan, vlingo’s president and CEO. “We have aggressive expansion plans over the next year that will take vlingo overseas and across a broad range of mobile phones here in the U.S. We’re eager to leverage Yahoo!’s expertise and reach as we execute against this strategy.”
“Having a strategic investor of Yahoo!’s stature in the industry is a great validation of what has been built at vlingo,” said Izhar Armony, a general partner, at Charles River Ventures,which led the Series A investment. “We look forward to having Yahoo! as an investor to help us grow this business.”
Vlingo and Yahoo! will be exhibiting the new voice enabled Yahoo! oneSearch service at their respective booths – vlingo #4105 in the North Hall, and Yahoo! #1019 in the Central Hall.
Vlingo is a voice-powered user interface that unlocks access to mobile phone wireless data services. Vlingo allows users to speak or type into any vlingo-enabled text box and get accurate, easy and consistent access to all the information, entertainment and communication made possible through today’s mobile applications. By giving consumers control of the mobile Internet with the power of their voices, vlingo provides a quantum leap in usability for mobile data services that are currently restricted by limited user interfaces.IDC has named vlingo one of the “Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008.” The company secured its venture capital financing from Charles River Ventures, Sigma Partners and Yahoo! Inc. Founded in 2006, vlingo is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Why tap when you can talk? www.vlingo.com.