We now live in a world of robust communication tools. Facebook, Twitter, IM, Skype, FaceTime, etc. But the one that still connects nearly everyone, the phone, remains rudimentary. Sure, phone communication has gone completely wireless, but a call is still a call. It requires dialing a number and connecting. Mr. Number’s goal is to add new layers of usefulness.
As a mobile app available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, Mr. Number allows you to do things like let friends know when it’s a good time to call you. Or you can tell them that you’d prefer a text message at the moment. Or you can say you’re busy and ask for a voice message instead. People waste a lot of time doing these things right now because it’s basically a guessing game as to what the best way is to get ahold of someone at any time. Mr. Number removes the guessing game.
The app does a number of other things as well, such as lookup-based caller ID. And they offer the ability to block calls and messages from certain numbers. You can also quickly report spam calls. Mr. Number is all about giving you more control over your phone-based communications.
That’s a tall order, and one that requires resources. To that end, the service has just raised $3.5 million from Menlo Ventures, we’ve learned. The money will be used to scale as well as build new functionality — while keeping the service free (though there are some small fees for reverse-lookups).
Menlo’s Shervin Pishevar and DuBose Montgomery will join Mr. Number’s board with the round. This is actually Pishevar’s first big Menlo investment, and his first board seat for the firm. He became a partner in June.
Mr. Number CEO Jason Devitt notes that nearly 3 million people have signed up for the service so far. The money will undoubtedly also help them combat the big fish playing in this pond: Google with Google Voice.
Update: More on their blog.
Mr. Number develops apps for smartphones that give consumers more control over who can call them and when. First, Mr. Number aims to bring users more calls and texts from people they like by letting them share availability or status with their friends. Second, the app tells users who is calling when the number is not in their mobile contacts (Caller ID). Finally, Mr. Number block calls and texts from people and companies that users don’t want to hear from...