Redwood City based Frengo, a mobile social networking startup targeting the growing SMS/ TXT market, have completed Series A funding of $5.7 million. The founding round was led by Trilogy Equity Partners, a firm led by John Stanton, the former T-Mobile USA and Western Wireless Chief Executive, and completed by Khosla Ventures and Index Ventures, both of which provided capital in the initial round of $2.3 million for Frengo in December 2006.
Frengo offers games and services via SMS and MMS. Games typically revolve around Sports or Entertainment and involve competing via phone against friends or other contacts. Frengo’s social networking tools allow user creation of polls, bulletins and quizzes that are sent out and completed via text messaging.
Existing partnerships for the company include a deal with Boost Mobile centered around the NCAA tournament with live wagering of points on games.
CEO Mahi de Silva, formerly with Verisign, has said that the aim of Frengo was to broaden the scope of mobile phone usage to include ‘one-to-many’ interactions; “supporting everyone’s basic desire to relate to other people in a social environment” and that the service was aimed at a core 16-28 year old demographic.
Frengo also operates in the often volitile MySpace service sector, having launched a TXT to MySpace service in February this year.
The company competes in an increasingly competitive marketplace, with SMS centered services such as Twitter rapidly gaining acceptance across the broader field of consumers, although as an idea Frengo is trying to take the existing social networking concepts of Twitter to another level of interactivity. The only question is whether the market is ready for it.