In 2008, serial entrepreneur Scott Lahman had an insight that the rise of smartphones would change SMS messaging. “I had started a mobile gaming company,” he recalls, “and witnessed how gaming evolved, and I hypothesized that mobile messaging would move to be over-internet rather than through texting plans.” So he got to work building his messaging app, Text+. And Scott was right — within the first week of launching in 2009 he saw about 1M downloads of the new app. “You can get a free phone number, customize your telecom service, and access a lot of amazing features at no out-of-pocket cost,” highlights Scott.
With near immediate success and visible opportunities to grow, Scott brought on Alex Scissors to lead the venture's monetization strategy. The Text+ team wanted to keep the app free for users but also fund the business, so they introduced ads. “We incorporated advertising in 2010 and have built out Text+ to be an ad-supported telecom business,” says Scott. “We’ve found advertising to be a really powerful way to open up services for people and scale for our business. With this business, we’re able to offer a service for free that would normally cost $50-200 per month.”