Despite only being around for a year and a half, mobile video chat app Tango has made a big splash in an industry dominated by heavy hitters like Skype and FaceTime for iPhone. The company was an instant success, hitting one million downloads in 10 days after launching in October 2010, and immediately becoming the No. 1 social networking app in the iTunes app store.
Now Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tango has more money to build on its early success, as it announced Thursday that it's raised $40 million in a Series C round of financing. With this round of fundraising, Tango has raised $87 million in total. Its last fund raising round, in July 2011, brought in $42 million.
Investors include members of co-founder and CTO Eric Setton's family, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Michael Birch, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Bill Hambrecht. The round also included new investors Qualcomm and Access Industries.
Setton told VatorNews that the investment from Qualcomm is significant, as Qualcomm and Tango have been working together in recent months to optimize video quality.
That Qualcomm has now invested in Tango has “cemented the relationship” between the two companies, Setton says.
Tango is only 18 months old, but currently has 45 million users in 210 different countries, with 10% using the service daily.
In the past four months, it has now seen its number of daily calls double. Its daily registrations have doubled since July 2011.
Tango is currently the only video messaging service available on Windows 7 phones. The service is also available for desktop, iPhone and Android.
Setting themselves apart from Skype
Tango’s main goal is to keep people closer together, says Setton.
The people who use the service, he says, are the people that see each other all the time, like good friends and family members, who are already close.
What Tango wants to do is give them a fun and unique experience with additional features not available on Skype.
One of the features that sets the service apart is Tango Surprises, which allow users to send each other animations, such as fireworks, a birthday cake or a kiss for different occasions. There are 15 animations available in total.
Setton compares the feature to animated emoticons, and sees it as another way that his company is setting itself apart from its rivals.
Tango also gives users the ability to share Video Messages with their loved ones and today it announced that it is going to launching an additional feature to its Video Messages service: group messaging, which will allow users to share a video message with contacts in their phone address books. The company says this will expand its user based to over 1.5 billion.
Since debuting Video Messages in December, tens of millions of messages have been sent.
While Tango may not be able to say that it is yet in the same league as Skype, it is rapidly growing and is continually trying to distinguish itself. It should not be surprising if Tango is a service more and more people are talking about very soon.
(Image source: wmpoweruser.com)