Yap, a startup focused on converting cell phone or other calls to text for use in messages, updating Web sites and search, has closed on $6.5 million in Series A round venture financing.
Yap raised $1.5 million in 2007. The company launched in 2006.
SunBridge Partners led the round announced Tuesday. Other new investors included Pittco Capital Partners and Harbert Venture Partners. Individuals who had invested earlier in the company also participated in the new round.
The funds will be used for additional research and development initiatives and business expansion, according to the company.
"Yap is truly a leader in freeform speech recognition and driving innovation in the mobile user experience," said Paul Grim, general partner at SunBridge. "It is increasingly clear that the fastest, easiest, and safest way to interact with services on a mobile device is using your voice, and Yap makes this both possible and intuitive. We are excited to help them deliver on a vision in which carriers, device makers, and Web portals are all able to provide an entirely new experience for their users."
Igor Jablokoy is chief executive and a co-founder of the company. Timothy Biltz remains the firm’s chairman.
Yap’s first applications allow users to send messages in a variety of formats and to post updates to social networking sites. It also supports search. Yap began offering commercial services in April.
"We are humbled by the industry’s interest in us ever since we unveiled at TechCrunch [trade show in Silicon Valley] last year, providing final validation of the need for this innovation in our daily lives," Jablokov said in a statement.
"As the pioneer of this capability, especially centered around mobile messaging, we are executing an aggressive plan to bring this to market and make an impact in increasing safety for the communities we live in,” he added. “We are deeply appreciative of our institutional partners for this growth opportunity and are looking forward to successful deployments throughout the globe." The San Francisco Chronicle summed it up best with their headline, "Why type when you can yap?"
Jablokov founded the firm along with his brother Victor.