The Global VC

Twilio Fund Ends World Hunger, Makes Voicemail Fun Again, & Enlists A Few Good Superheroes! (Sort Of)

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500 Global Team

500 Global Team






Textaurant, OrderMapper, & Voicendo are the first to receive 100 Benjamins from the Twilio Fund. BOOM!

Back in September, we announced the Twilio Fund – a $250K platform micro-fund from 500 Startups that we carved out to invest in startups building on top of the Twilio platform. We’re HUNGRY to share a couple announcements – the first three $10,000 recipients of the Twilio Fund and our Twilio Fund advisors!

And now… introducing you to Textaurant, OrderMapper, and Voicendo!

Textaurant is changing the way patrons wait – and restaurants fill seats – by allowing customers to wait online, not in line. Patrons can see wait times from any computer or smartphone and can join the queue from anywhere, and receive a text or voice message (powered by Twilio!) when their table is almost ready. Textaurant restaurants lose fewer patrons because of long waits, increasing overall revenue, and add dollars to the top line by offering a unique and convenient service. The team is currently working with restaurant chains around the country, including American Food Systems (as Cafe Luigi in Bedford, MA) and Finale Desserts in the Boston area, Red Stripe Restaurants in Rhode Island, and Fox Restaurant Concepts (as True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale) in Arizona. They also have a few independent restaurants on board.

Textaurant has seen a decrease in “no-shows” of 5-15% per restaurant on busy nights, and an increase in post-9pm tables seated. Additionally, 90+% of patrons who are asked are willing to give their mobile phone number. Future plans for Textaurant include: a restaurant interface including loyalty features, analytics, and marketing tools; patron accounts; social sharing tools; possibly other verticals beyond restaurants; and of course – more locations!

Textaurant is Josh Bob and Dan Pickett, who met on the Boston entrepreneurship scene in 2009. Josh (CEO) has a background in marketing, business development, and operations, and Dan (CTO) is a lead engineer and development consultant for numerous companies around the country. Both are passionate about food, and both hate waiting – which is why they created Textaurant!

Check out this clip of Josh Bob on FOX News demoing Textaurant:

Order Mapper is developing a universal, cloud based ordering and marketing API called OrderWiki.  They provide simple mobile ordering for almost any business using a REST API that can be integrated directly into native mobile apps (iOS, Android, WP7).

OrderMapper is disrupting mobile ordering and marketing for restaurants (like GroupOn, GrubHub, and Point of Sale companies), beginning with the launch of their proof of concept app (Order Pizza) and several white label apps (including Round Table, Zeeks and US Pizza Co.) earlier this year, which now have over 30,000 orders between them.

Restaurant owners get full control over menus, pricing, opening hours, delivery areas and reservations. They even run their own marketing, creating offers and demand generation with technologies like Push Notifications (iOS) and C2DM (Android). Their API processes orders via fax, e-mail, POS, or to any phone number using Twilio. Combined with monthly tiered pricing according to order volumes, this gives OrderMapper universal reach with minimal upfront cost to the business. For app developers, it’s an easy way to integrate mobile ordering into any app. Everything is done through standard GET and POST,  transactions are secure and authenticated. OrderMapper is either supporting or partnering with a range of 3rd party services (e.g. PayPal) to give developers as much freedom and flexibility as possible. And for consumers, the platform delivers the level of choice and convenience they’re increasingly demanding. They use their favorite app to order from their favorite local place,  OrderMapper provides the technology expertise to make it happen.

Check out a video here of OrderMapper in action:

Order Mapper’s core team includes Jim Bricker (CEO), John Pitocco (CTO), Simon Taghioff (CMO), and Shahryar Khan (Lead Developer). The team launched their white label apps at the International Pizza Expo in March 2010 in Las Vegas.

Here is Danielle Morrill from Twilio (also a 500 Startups Mentor) demoing OrderMapper:

Voicendo provides a user interface for small businesses and independent professionals to manage their incoming phone calls (even SMS) routed according to their easily configured routes! Backed by the scalability and power of Twilio, we’re changing small business telephony for the better.

Voicendo enables business to configure their numbers in a hosted, stable, and secure environment, and keep the simple pay-as-you-go model that allows a predictable expense. Features include the ability to setup call schedules (even based on specific contacts, in their address book), simple call forwarding, SMS notifications, voicemail, conferencing to multiple callers at once, “find me” type functionality that rings all phones until one answers, custom menus to route calls (using text-to-speech or recorded messages), and several more!  By providing an easy to use interface, combined with a powerful backend and simple billing – we aim to streamline the process of configuring business phone numbers and continuously maintaining them.  With a free iPhone and Android app on the way, we feel anyone could benefit from our services.

Voicendo was created by Garrett Wilson.

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s…. the Band of Twilio Fund Advisors!

BAM! ZOOM! We’ve got an AWESOME group of superheroes who’ve agreed to be advisors for the Twilio Fund and help us evaluate submissions. They possess a unique combination of Twilio knowledge, business and/or technical savvy, and startup Spidey senses. Plus they all have experience founding companies.

And our Super Advisors are:

Joshua Schachter, Tasty Labs

Jay Weintraub, LeadsCon

Lane Becker, Get Satisfaction

Dave Schappell, TeachStreet

Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures

John Musser, Programmable Web

To all the people who’ve applied to the Twilio Fund and haven’t heard back yet – note that we’ve been going out of order with reviewing the submissions. If you haven’t heard back yet, it’s probably because we’re still in the process of vetting yours. We’re working as hard as we can to get through everyone. Thanks in advance for your patience! 🙂


500 Global Team

500 Global Team