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Mozes, the SMS marketing company, raises angel funding

Mozes, a Palo Alto start-up that lets you send it an SMS (text message) to get information about a person, a band or other product, has raised an angel round of $750,000. Media analyst Paul Kagan is among the investors.

It is the latest move by a start-up to exploit SMS' growing popularity, especially among youth, to help companies like Microsoft market their products.

Here's an example of how it works:

Two weeks ago, the Dustin Burke Band, opened for another band in Dayton, Ohio, in front of a crowd of 5,000. The band asked fans to text message Mozes -- addressing the message to code number 66937, for "M-o-z-e-s". Fans simply typed "DBB" in their message, and Mozes sent the fans information about to download a free mp3, and links to the band's Web site, and profile on MySpace and so on. Dorrian Porter, chief executive of Mozes, said about 500 people, or 10 percent of the audience responded.

Mozes is working with a number of companies, including Microsoft, O'Reilly Media, Current TV to develop marketing campaigns. When Microsoft featured its portable media center at a San Mateo fair in April, visitors could text Mozes about it and have accounts automatically created for them.

Second, individuals can also use Mozes. You can create an account at Mozes and choose a code (we'd select MattMarshall, for example). Others can then message Mozes with your code, and you can respond with a virtual business card or other information. This way, you can tailor your responses for certain events, and not have to send people to a more static Web site, or lengthy URL. Alternatively, you can use Mozes for bookmarking. Hear a great song on the radio, and you can message Mozes with the radio station name, and Mozes sends details about the song (because it knows the time you were listening). It has partnered with Broadcast Electronics to work with 185 stations on this idea. KFOG in the Bay Area is one of them.

Mozes leaves "testing" mode in September, at which point companies can go directly to the site and create their own marketing campaigns at Mozes' site without human interaction.

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Certainly, music is a great market for text message opportunities.

Bob Bentz on July 1, 2006 6:41 PM
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