ipadio secures £1m investment to take phone-to-web audio into businesses

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While many ‘social audio’ startups like Audioboo, SoundCloud and Cinch continue to battle each other on the consumer field, there is one company that, while offering a consumer service, is starting to get a considerable amount of traction in the business and enterprise space – largely ignored by the consumer players.

ipadio, bills itslef as a live phone-casting company, and for a while it looked a lot like AudioBoo or Soundcloud. But today it’s secured a £1m ($1.6m) investment from the London Business Angels network, Nemisys (the company that founded ipadio) and backing from the UK government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. The company is initially taking just over £700k, with the remainder available later in 2011. The investment will be used to expand the business. It has a number of clever new products like ‘Voice Forms’ and is developing the high-definition live streaming of phone calls to the web.

Founded in 2009, ipadio live-links the telephony system to the Internet. That means consumer can just “call in” audio, instead of having to use data via the company’s iPhone or Android app and then cross post to social media platforms. Here are some examples from the recent turmoil in Egypt, where the calls were literally called-in, without the need for a smartphone app.

But this independence from smartphones also means, for instance, an engineer in the field can call in to a companies network to report on their work, or the company in turn can send new information to workers out and about. It can also geo-locate there a phone call is coming from based on the triangulation of cell towers, handy for enterprise apps.

The new investment is largely on the back of iPadio’s clear direction towards using voice to improve internal company communications in new and interesting ways. The focus on having a real business model did not hurt: Anthony Clarke, the CEO of the London Business Angels says, “although raising money in the present economic climate is not easy, what attracted the LBA to join this round was the ipadio management’s evident ability to use the ipadio technology to deliver real business benefits.”

Dr Mark K. Smith, ipadio founder and co-inventor, told me “the growth of ipadio has been like holding onto the tail of a tiger: phonecasts from unusual places and during troubled times makes the ipadio network buzz, though what has attracted investors is that we have secured significant corporate contracts… That means using the ipadio technology to solve previously intractable problems for national and international organisations, especially those with large and mobile workforces.”

Thus ipadio has managed to bring in clients including The Vodafone Foundation, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Virgin Media, HomeServe, academic institutions worldwide and several others, largely in the UK, alongside the “tens of thousands” of consumer users who are attracted to its platform and help to kick the tyres on new services which ipadio can roll out to enterprises.

  • http://topsy.com/eu.techcrunch.com/2011/02/07/ipadio-secures-1m-investment-to-take-phone-to-web-audio-into-businesses/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention ipadio secures £1m investment to take phone-to-web audio into businesses -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TechCrunch, TechCrunch Europe, Karim Gargum, Steve Schlafman, Steve Haag and others. Steve Haag said: RT @TechCrunch: ipadio Secures $1.6m To Take Phone-To-Web Audio Into Businesses http://tcrn.ch/fg8P6c by @mikebutcher […]

  • Yofanny

    won’t be long before they get a c&d

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2011/02/07/ipadio-secures-1-6m-to-take-phone-to-web-audio-into-businesses/ ipadio Secures $1.6m To Take Phone-To-Web Audio Into Businesses | JetLib News

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • http://www.24pagebooks.com MartinEdic

    I wonder how quickly they will get the trademark conflict letters from Apple’s legal? This is a blatantly illegal use of the iPad mark, at least from what I know as a layman…

    • Mark

      An amusing thought but wrong way round: ipadio was trademarked in 10/04/2009 see here: http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline/RequestManager/en_SearchAdvanced_NoReg

    • http://twitter.com/nemisys nemisys

      We were there first Martin, though we’ve decided not to sue ;-) . Seriously though, as you’ve taken an interest, I noted your role. Do give us a shout if you can see voice- or keypad-functions adding any value to CaterTrax, it’s the sort of thing we’re doing now. I’m thinking dial in to place order/re-order when you’ve no time to get online …?

      • http://www.24pagebooks.com MartinEdic

        While I’m no longer with CaterTrax (my start-up just closed a seed round), it essentially replaces time-consuming and error-prone phone ordering for very large scale catering operations. To put it in perspective CaterTrax SaaS processed $350 million dollars in transactions in 2010.
        I believe they are moving towards iPad as part of their enterprise platform in addition to web sites.
        I guess suing Apple would be a pretty dumb idea!
        BTW, I updated my Disqus profile…thx

      • http://twitter.com/nemisys nemisys

        Best of luck with the start-up! jd

  • dax

    As it has been said before.. I can not see how this has not been killed off by Apple for using IPAD in the name… yikes!

  • Jeff Frese

    I hope the name doesn’t bite them in the butt.

  • http://twitter.com/lucaslain Lucas Lain

    I have a small website called http://flipzu.com … is for Live Broadcasting Audio :). If anyone wants to give me feedback, my email es lucas@flipzu.com

  • Anonymous

    Mike, you GOTTA check out TinyVox !!! I think you’ll really love it :)

  • Anonymous

    Mike, you GOTTA check out TinyVox !!! I think you’ll really love it :)

  • http://twitter.com/jennygrahan1234 Jenny Graham

    Interesting news!Thanks for sharing with us.


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    […] of digital communication company Nemisys, has secured funding to grow its phone blogging business, TechCrunch reports. Founded in 2009, the company offers organizations the ability to phone in field reports and have […]

  • http://smartphonemanagement.ca/the-opportunity-beyond-smartphones-ipadio-loc-aid-target-feature-phones/ The Opportunity Beyond Smartphones: Ipadio, Loc-Aid Target Feature Phones | Smartphone Management in Canada

    […] Ipadio—not to be confused with the Apple-made tablet of a similar name—has picked up £1 million ($1.6 million) in funding to grow its business. Investors include the London Business Angels, ipadio-founders Nemisys, and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, according to TechCrunch. […]

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