TEllme

TellMe Launches a Killer Mobile Product

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If you have a cell phone that supports the new TellMe mobile application, you will never use 411 again to find a business. It launches today at 5 AM PST.

TellMe mobile is a free Java application that you install on your phone. You can then find normal 411 information via a voice activated menu. Just hold the talk button and say the city and state you are searching in. Then say the business name. Phone and address information comes up on the screen. You can then call the business, see a map and/or get driving directions, and send the information to a friend via SMS. I’ve been testing Tell Me for the last two weeks on a Samsung SPH-A900 with Sprint, and I’m hooked (as is Oliver at MobileCrunch). The best part is that the service is completely free.

Like the new Gmail mobile application, TellMe requires a Java enabled phone. There is a list of currently supported devices here.

Click on the image to the right to see a larger view of the process of using the application. If your phone doesn’t support Java applications, you can use a version of the Tell Me service by SMS. Text your query (“pizza San Jose” or “starbucks 94027″) to TELLM and the results will be sent back to you.

Background on TellMe

TellMe was founded in February 1999 by former Netscaper Mike McCue, and is based in Silicon Valley. It now has hundreds of employees. Their core business is operating a number of 411 services for telcos, voice activated customer service lines for companies like American Airlines, and their own 1-800-555-TELL service which provides news and other information over the phone.

The company has raised a whopping $239 million in capital over four venture rounds, although the most recent round was back in 2001. The company is both profitable and cash flow positive – two years ago they were generating a reported $100 million plus in revenue. And while they aren’t commenting, it’s clear that TellMe is on track to IPO this year or next. We’ll see if they manage to beat NetSuite to the Nasdaq.

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