We’ve been writing about text-marketing startup SuperPhone since 2016, when musician Ryan Leslie raised $1.5m to build a tool for artists to communicate with fans via SMS. Now it’s got some competition from a startup called Community, discovered by Wired when actor and investor Ashton Kutcher promoted it to his fans.
“I miss having a real connection w/ real people. My Community. From now on you can just text me. I won’t be able to respond to everyone but at least we can be real w/ each other & I can share the unedited latest & greatest in my world,” tweeted Kutcher yesterday with a 10-digit phone number.
Not *his* phone number, of course: fans texting it received an automatic reply with a link to sign them up to Community, which “provides its clients (including influencers, musicians, athletes, brands, actors, their agents, and others, collectively, ‘Clients’) the ability through a non-exclusive, revocable license to send and receive text messages from users of the Service by using a ten-digit phone number”.
Wired dug further, and claims that this isn’t a brand new startup, but rather a rebrand and pivot for an existing one called Shimmur (which was actually one of the first cohort of startups in the Techstars Music accelerator back in 2017).