The founder of start-up comms provider Ascendia, a company which enables small firms to use a landline to manage mobile calls via an app called DropCall365, is to undertake a 10-week business growth course at Stanford University paid for by Y Combinator, a start-up incubator and VC organisation in Silicon Valley which spotted high potential in Ascendia's new venture.
Adrian St Vaughan launched his Bournemouth-based business this summer and hopes the investment will provide a boost to his DropCall365 service, which he dubs 'a business phone system that fits in your pocket'.
DropCall365 is based on Simwood's platform which enables imaginative comms providers to develop new ideas into market-ready propositions which are then backed by the Bristol-based service provider's support team.
"Adrian has been a customer of ours for some time and always manages to innovate using our platform, whether it's using the Simwood API or blocking fraudsters using our honeypot data," stated Simwood MD Simon Woodhead. "The DropCall365 venture seems to be a hit and we're watching with great interest."
The rationale behind DropCall365 is that many small businesses lose customers because they only use a personal mobile for work, according to St Vaughan.
"That doesn’t look professional, and many calls will divert to voicemail if the small business owner is engaged on other matters," he said.
To overcome this problem St Vaughan provides small firms and sole traders with a landline number and the app manages incoming calls, providing AI generated automated messages designed to answer common queries.
Unresolved calls are forwarded to the business’s mobile phone using their data plan. Outgoing mobile calls display the landline number.
“This technology is historically expensive and aimed at call centres,” said St Vaughan. “Nobody thought about it from a small business perspective, especially for 20-30 calls a day."