This month marks a new milestone in the history of award-winning SMS provider Textlocal. Formed on 29 September 2005, the company is celebrating 10 years in business; providing reliable and innovative mobile communications solutions to SMB and Enterprise businesses across a diverse range of sectors.
Textlocal founder Alastair Shortland built the very first version of the Textlocal platform, Messenger, in his bedroom, after being inspired by a text message received from a local business. Messenger was developed to make mobile messaging accessible to any organisation, regardless of their size and budget.
Building a company without any funding or marketing experience was a challenge, so Alastair turned to an “angel investor”, Darren Daws, and the business was up and running one week later.
In the early days, the business was run from Alastair and Darren’s respective homes, with Alastair handling the technical product development and Darren the sales and marketing. As the company grew, offices were set up in Chester and Great Malvern (Alastair’s home town).
By 2010, Textlocal was gaining momentum and starting to attract attention from numerous industry bodies. The company was awarded ‘Best Telecommunications Website 2010’ in the Internet Business Awards, followed by a host of accolades in 2011, including the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, 160 Characters and The North West Digital and Media Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Alastair.
The ever-expanding technical team have developed Messenger, adding advanced new features for customers including document attachments – a first for the industry – and mobile-optimised data capture forms, which allow businesses to gather information from their customers without the hassle of back-and-forth SMS surveys. More recently, the addition of mobile vouchers, tickets and loyalty cards into the platform gives customers the ability to create unique, trackable mobile vouchers that can be sent via SMS, opening up a new world of marketing opportunities.
In October 2014, Textlocal was acquired by international mobile communication giant IMImobile in a deal worth around £13 million. This has enabled Textlocal to develop the Messenger product and further invest in the team.
Managing Director, Jason Palgrave-Jones, said “The Company is unrecognisable from the one that started in a bedroom all those years ago. We’ve built a robust platform that gives customers a reliable, easy to manage mobile messaging experience, and the independent reviews back this up. We continually strive to improve the service our customers receive, and this includes the development of value-adding features than can enhance the SMS our customers send – features that, for the most part, our competitors haven’t been able to replicate.”