What’s not to like about free directory assistance? Investors are pouring yet another $6.75 million into Jingle Networks, the company behind 1-800-FREE-411. The funding round was disclosed today in an SEC filing, and it brings the total amount raised by the company to almost $90 million.
The investors in this round were not disclosed in the filing, but previous investors include First Round Capital, Goldman Sachs, Hearst, and Liberty Associated Partners.
Jingle runs voice ads before giving out directory assistance numbers, and competes with GOOG-411. Last year, before the U.S. financial meltdown, it was looking to IPO, launched a broader voice ad network, and even hit profitability on a per-call basis.
The IPO talk stopped as soon as the advertising recession hit, and you’ve got to wonder how that voice ad network is doing now, and whether it is still profitable per call. I’d be surprised. If they were profitable, why would they have to raise $6.7 million now, on top of the $7.5 million they raised just last February. Maybe this one will get the company back over the hump and ready for an exit.
Update: CEO Scott Kliger responds, saying that the company’s main service is still profitable, and that this round will be used to expand its mobile ad network, Jingle Connect. He writes:
First, all of our current investors participated in this round. Second, the voice service is profitable and has continued to be profitable despite the difficult economic climate for advertising during the end of ’08 and the first half of ’09. This round, however, is intended to dramatically expand the growth of our mobile ad network, Jingle Connect which was launched in mid-2008 and has seen sequential growth of over 300%. We believe we have an enormous opportunity in the convergence of the geo, local and mobile ad spaces for both voice and visual and we look to extend that lead with these funds.
Did we mention that there is a Geo Land Rush going on?