Zoove, the company behind the customized StarStar vanity mobile numbers, has secured an additional $15 million in funding led by new investor Panorama Capital. Existing investors Cardinal Venture Capital, Highland Capital Partners, and Worldview Technology Partners returned for the Series D round, which will be used to expand the StarStar product.
StarStar is a way to incorporate branding into digital marketing campaigns that otherwise would use SMS short codes or QR codes. The Weather Channel, CBS’s The Early Show, USA Today and Suzuki are among those using StarStar, which enables consumers to dial ** plus the assigned two to 12 digits. The Weather Channel, for example, uses the StarStar code **WEATHER.
It’s up to the registered business what happens then. It can be used for voting or other interactive input, or it can push video, coupons, a mobile app or any similar opt-in directly to callers’ mobile phones.
“What excites us the most about StarStar Numbers are their simplicity and reach,” said Shankar Chandran, partner, Panorama Capital. “Zoove’s exclusive relationship with the major U.S. wireless carriers means that it can deliver significant value to advertisers, mobile operators and consumers.”
Consumers don’t pay anything extra to call a StarStar number, although standard voice, data and/or text charges still apply.
Zoove’s business arrangement is with the registered owner of each number. Prices start at $1500 a month, depending on the length or scarcity of the number you choose, Zoove.com spokesperson Jeremy Pemble told AdAge.