For a company that has somehow stayed mostly off the tech press’ radar, TiKL has had a pretty friggin’ good year.
With $0 spent on marketing, its two mobile apps, TiKL Touch To Talk and Talkray, have nabbed a total of 28 million downloads. After taking part in Y Combinator’s Winter 2012 class, they raised a $2.1 million Series A from some of the biggest names in the Valley.
Today TiKL is unveiling the other half of its business strategy: the Talkray API.
(Before we dive much deeper, a quick bit of background on what their apps actually do: TiKL Touch To Talk is a walkie-talkie app, bringing cross-platform push-to-talk-functionality to Android and iPhone. Talkray is a broader communications app, with things like group calling and voice mail.)
Using their new API, TiKL says mobile developers will be able to easily add text chats (both one-on-one and group chats), voice calling for groups as large as 25, voice mail, image and video transfers, and just about any other feature from the Talkray app into their own applications and games on iOS or Android.
Speaking of games, that’s actually where TiKL says they’ve seen the most demand for an API like this — hence the timing of the launch, which coincides with this week’s Game Developer Conference. They’re keeping the API generic enough to work in any app, but they expect a pretty big chunk of their customers to be game devs.
TiKL still hasn’t settled on exactly how they’ll charge for the use of their API, but it’ll be completely free during the initial beta stage. Interested developers can sign up for an invite to the private beta here.
Now, about that $2.1 million Series A: TiKL actually closed the round a few months ago but kept it under wraps until mentioning it in passing during our phone call. TiKL says the round was funded primarily by General Catalyst, and was backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures and SV Angel.
Of their 28 million app downloads, their first app, TiKL Walkie-Talkie, accounts for 27 million and has found most of its user base in the U.S. and South Korea. Their second app, the Talkray app from which their new API gets its name, makes up the other million and is most popular in the Middle East. Alas, TiKL declined to comment on how many of their 28 million downloads were active users.