TextPride Secures $1 Million in New Funding to Bring Brands to Mobile Messaging

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Licensed Content From More Than 200 Leading Sports and Entertainment Brands to Hit Major Mobile Messaging Apps Very Soon

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TextPride content unlocks a powerful way for brands and messaging apps to increase engagement with their fans without alienating them over this highly personal channel.

TextPride has successfully completed a Seed Round, securing $1M in funding. The funding includes $20,000 from Miller Lite’s “Tap the Future” business competition, which the company won as the Chicago regional winner among over 2,000 entrants and a panel of judges which included Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The funding will help bring branded content to hundreds of millions of people around the globe through popular mobile messaging apps they already know and love. The branded content includes emojis and stickers from more than 200 licensing agreements TextPride has struck with top sports and entertainment brands, including the Chicago Blackhawks, the University of Notre Dame, Jimmy Johnson, Miramax Studios and Warner Music Studios. The investment will also enable TextPride to rapidly expand its current licensing portfolio with new leading sports and entertainment brands across the world, helping mobile messaging apps increase engagement with users and bring the best sports and entertainment brands together with a fan’s interaction with family, friends and rivals over those messaging apps.

“Mobile messaging apps are rapidly overtaking the traditional SMS experience on smartphones, collectively representing some 800 million worldwide users today,” said Evan Wray, co-founder of TextPride. “People love mobile messaging because it’s a content-driven, free and highly personal experience shared with family, friends and loved ones. Brands have struggled over this channel to date because the approach hasn’t matched this dynamic –direct messages from companies feel forced, and no one wants to feel pitched over a text message. TextPride content unlocks a powerful way for brands and messaging apps to increase engagement with their fans without alienating them over this highly personal channel.”

Despite the fact that more than 10 trillion messages will be sent worldwide by mobile messaging apps in 2013 , brands have not successfully navigated the medium. According to TextPride, the challenging, time-consuming licensing process for messaging apps and the difficulty matching brands to the personal nature of the messaging channel is to blame. The process is fraught with difficulties like creating appropriate content which resonates with users, compliance, monitoring, negotiations, approval and quality control. By already completing the challenging process with hundreds of top brands, TextPride offers messaging apps unmatched access to licensed content from hundreds of top sports and entertainment brands, with one touch point to interact with for all these difficult issues. Brands will benefit from a huge distribution channel and monetization opportunity over many app partners and provide their fans a new way to interact, engage and share their favorite, personal content from that brand.

“We’ve already seen that if matched to the values and goals of the experience, users engage with this type of content and want it in their mobile messaging experience,” said Wray. “For example, it’s been reported in Asia that Line, a popular messaging app, is generating monthly revenue of $10M in mobile sticker sales, and we expect that the popularity of such content will be similar worldwide. In fact, 17 percent of more than 100,000 US users purchased paid emoji/sticker content from an early proof of concept app we developed for the iPhone, more than eight times higher than the typical paid engagement rate for an app. The key and difficulty is creating highly-desirable content that feels natural to the experience of mobile messaging, while navigating all the usual hurdles of any licensing activity.”

TextPride helps solve a couple of traditionally challenging problem for many apps –how to generate enough revenue without compromising the experience that users know and love and secondly, increase engagement with a particular app. By designing its licensed content to fit seamlessly within the existing infrastructure of a given app, TextPride content adds to the user experience without disrupting the personal nature of the channel, and provides a unique revenue opportunity for both brands and apps.

TextPride expects to launch content from its brand partners with top mobile messaging app partners in the very near future. To license content with TextPride, partner with TextPride to launch licensed content on your app, or for more information, visit http://www.textpride.com.

About TextPride:
TextPride (http://www.textpride.com) helps mobile messaging apps bring users and the brands they love closer together.

TextPride is the worldwide leader in mobile branded content, having struck over 200 licensing agreements, many of them exclusive, with top sports and entertainment brands like the University of Notre Dame, the Chicago Blackhawks and the US Military Branches. With unique, distinctive and expertly-designed branded stickers and emoticons, TextPride provides messaging apps a new way to attract users and engage with existing ones. TextPride brings deep expertise in navigating the difficult, time-consuming and costly licensing process, offering one point of contact for all legal, payment and quality issues with hundreds of different brands.

Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray started TextPride in 2012 with the vision that brands lacked a presence in mobile messaging. TextPride is dedicated to providing fans of both entertainment and sports brands a new way to show off and share their passions over the number one way fans communicate today –mobile messaging.


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Dan Tudesco
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