Exclusive – Zoove has raised $15 million in Series D funding, led by new investor Panorama Capital, TechCrunch has learned. Existing investors also participating in the round, including Cardinal Venture Capital, Highland Capital Partners and Worldview Technology Partners. Zoove is the company behind StarStar Numbers, an exclusive registry of memorably phone numbers (e.g. **WEATHER or **SUZUKI) that lets brands connect with consumers on any mobile phone.
Zoove exclusively provides said vanity StarStar Numbers for the largest wireless operators in the United States, serving more than 250 million people.
StarStar Numbers enable consumers to call the name of brand being promoted, e.g. **ESPN and get to its mobile app, website, coupon, video and whatnot, without the need to use QR code readers or unbranded text message short codes.
Zoove also powers the National StarStar Registry, in cooperation with the four major mobile operators in the US. Through the Registry, companies can lease branded, vanity StarStar Numbers that are available to the majority of US mobile subscribers.
The company explains that for consumers, there is no extra charge to call a vanity StarStar Number. After the initial phone call, users typically receive a text message or voice mail prompting them to engage further, and at that point they can opt in, based on their phone’s capabilities, to view websites, download apps, and so on.
Brands pay Zoove an annual fee for their StarStar Number, which varies based on the length and ‘scarcity’ of the number.