Teleflip is a Los Angeles based company that specializes in email to SMS text messaging. Anyone can send an email to phonenumber@teleflip.com (eg 987654321@teleflip.com) and it will automatically convert the email to SMS format and send it.

Teleflip first landed on the map in August 2006 with Series A VC funding from GRP Partners in LA. Since then, the've been busy with a buzz worthy presentation at Demo 2007 and an official launch in March. They've recently added some potentially cool features to manage your texts: including the ability to setup a "whitelist" so only specific contacts can email/text you, or the ability to queue up the messages during times you don't want to be bothered. Couple this with advanced management capabilities tied into Outlook, and Teleflip covers the high traffic business customer potential well.

But Teleflips best advantage is not its features but its simplicity. Their website is layed out nicely and using the service is a cinch. Couple this, with a lack of dominant competitors and Teleflip seems like its got an easy road to success. However, Teleflip, may find monetizing its currently free service more difficult than it imagined.

Teleflip is currently riding on VC money to get into the 2008 timeframe, where they plan to actually start trying to bring in revenue: in the form of "nonspammy" ads and a premium service to corporate customers. This is clearly a big transition, and going from a free service to a free service supported by ads, means that success is likely only if they can pull the advertising off without bothering customers. And while Teleflip does have a market for "premium services" this is an inevitable blackhole that startups often talk about, but often fail at executing (landing the big corporate customers is not an easy road). But despite these challenges, Teleflip is offering a good service, its well positioned, and thus it's clearly a company to watch.

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