The phone has advanced tremendously since it was invented 140 years ago. Yet, the functionality of the phone call itself has seldom changed over the years. Despite the countless cellular and Wi-Fi platforms that exist today, the phone call has somehow remained the same one-size-fits-all utility service.
Now, Israeli startup Yallo is offering a more personalized and efficient phone call experience. The smart voice communication platform allows you to record calls and back up your phone data, among a dozen other innovative features.
For example, if you have no reception, you can use Yallo to make a phone call; you can record calls, save them, and listen to them later; if you want someone to know what you’re calling about, you may send them a “call caption,” a short message stating the reason for your call; and, if you lose your phone, you can use Yallo to make the call – using the same phone number, even though you don’t have your SIM card. Upcoming features include one-touch group calls and voicemail transcriptions.
Garnering roughly 200,000 downloads since its inception, Yallo first launched its mobile app last year in the US, UK, Singapore, Brazil and India; now, it’s available all over the world. To date, the company, which was founded in 2012, has raised $8 million.
There’s no doubt that Yallo entered a crowded arena, competing head-to head with popular apps such as Viber (also developed in Israel), Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger and Skype – which provide voice and video calls.
Nonetheless, Yallo claims it’s different because it reinvented the phone call itself, with a rich set of functionalities that can help people utilize their time better, Tal Elyashiv, CEO of Yallo, tells NoCamels.
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The recording feature allows you to forward a recording to your email or a friend. There is a setting that records all calls automatically, so you don’t have to press anything. Since the recordings do not take up space from your device, you can record an unlimited amount of calls and save as many voice mails as you wish. To find a recording, all you have to do is search for keywords or phrases that were mentioned in the call.
The “flex” feature allows you to sign into Yallo through another device and all your data will be available to you. When you place a call, the number appears as your regular number even when you use a different device.
“The future smart voice platform”
Yallo-to-Yallo calls are free, along with all incoming calls. However, the app charges a fee for calls made outside Yallo; the average cost is 1 cent per minute.
“From an app standpoint, we want to keep introducing unique features that will keep on surprising and delighting people with a good old boring phone call,” Elyashiv tells NoCamels. “Looking at the bigger picture, we want to be the future smart voice platform that provides very rich functionality both to carriers and large business platforms.”