YouMail announced it has completed a $5.5 million series B round of funding, which it plans to use to expand its base of more than 6.5 million registered users.
YouMail raised the funding in February as a private placement, taking advantage of the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
Among other things, the JOBS Act removed the ban on general solicitation and general advertising in private placements, allowing YouMail to market its offering through the Internet and open Webcasts.
The private placement was managed by Digital Offering and included a mix of institutional investors, family offices, private investors, and other investment groups.
"YouMail replaces voicemail with an intelligent assistant for handling phone calls. While taking messages is a part of that, it’s a tiny part of what a human secretary would do," Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, told eWEEK. "YouMail does what they do: figure out who called, filter out the ones you don’t want, greet the ones you do want appropriately, get their contact information, provide alternate ways to contact you, and much more."
YouMail provides a digital personal assistant that helps users better manage incoming phone calls, and users can download YouMail’s app, which replaces their existing smart phone visual voicemail.
The platform is designed to improve its user’s caller care, privacy, and productivity, through features such as visual caller ID, automated caller blocking, personalized smart greetings, automatic replies, cloud storage, multi-platform access to messages, call routing, and more.
YouMail is available on iPhone and Android, the desktop and mobile Web-based platforms. Also, there are third-party applications tied into the YouMail Platform for Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android.
"Right now, there are some third-party apps that basically bring parts of the YouMail experience to different platforms," Quilici explained. "As we add more intelligence to the platform, we expect more apps to be built leveraging it."
Prior to the current round of private funding, YouMail’s investors include Vantage Point Capital Partners, Crunch Fund, Wavemaker Ventures, and Tech Coast Angels.
"The key thing we’re focused on in the short-term is to make the system smarter and our interfaces better designed and even easier to use," Quilici said. "For example, you’ll see things like our recognition of who called get better in the near future."
To expand its market presence, YouMail recently hired Brian Davi as the company’s vice president of marketing.
Prior to joining YouMail, Davi was the vice president of marketing at Sendme, director of advertising analytics at Universal Music Group and the associate director of marketing at Fox Mobile Distribution.
"Brian is a 10-year veteran in the digital marketing industry who has a track record of success growing user-bases for multiple consumer facing products and companies," Quilici said. "He led SendMail’s marketing effort to sell backgrounds, ringtones, and other related services to mobile phone users, and helped drive tremendous growth in customer acquisition and revenue by a regimen of non-stop testing and improving online marketing processes."
He noted that to date, YouMail has never marketed the service, and he sees an opportunity to use on-line marketing techniques to drive awareness of YouMail’s offering and acquire new users through low-cost paid channels.