Telecom innovators see early demand for service that bridges web-based communications with traditional international long-distance services
COSTA MESA, Calif. / NEW YORK, New York – August 15, 2016 – Primo Connect, maker of the Primo app, the first over-the-top (OTT) global communications app to provide free international calls and texts to-and-from phone numbers for over half of the world’s population, has received more than 1 million downloads of its public beta version available for Android and iOS. Launched in public beta in March, Primo has attracted users across 50 countries, with over 50 percent retention for continued monthly use.
Incubated under parent-company Ka’ena Corporation by the team at Ultra Mobile, a leader in no-contract unlimited wireless plans in the United States, Primo Connect was born from the telecom industry to bridge the gap between next-generation communications and traditional telecom services so anyone can connect from anywhere on any device. To date, 92 percent of communications through the Primo app has consisted of outgoing calls to landline and mobile phone numbers, with many users working or living abroad and connecting with family and friends at home.
“Apps like WhatsApp are great for connecting to other app users but there are billions of people around the world that have a phone and no data. We have been able to leverage our background in telecommunications to make Primo work seamlessly between phones and apps,” said Primo Connect Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Chris Furlong. “This enables us to provide an immediate solution to connect users with loved ones for free or extremely affordably across different technological infrastructures. It’s allowed us to spur rapid organic growth from day one while our quickly expanding user base amplifies the strength and value of our app-to-app capabilities.”
The Primo app is slated to officially launch in late September for iOS and Android, with additional operating systems and features to roll out later in the year. In addition to English, the official release version of the app will be available for multiple languages including Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish and Urdu. App-to-app communications are free and unlimited on the Primo app, and users receive monthly free minutes to connect with international phone numbers each month in addition to bonus minutes awarded through the app’s referral program. All minutes roll over and users receive a free US number at signup to receive inbound calls and messages from non-Primo users. Users can also purchase additional calling credits to make international calls at extremely competitive rates.
“We’re living at the height of the information age and telecom is still playing catchup,” said Primo Connect General Manager Jonathan Lin. “Neglecting the need to bridge the new with the old is just avoiding the inevitable. Founded by a team with decades of experience in telecom, Primo has a unique edge in solving an obvious problem largely ignored by both the telecom industry and development community. It’s why the beta version has seen such viral popularity out the gate and what has drawn me back to the startup world after years of leadership roles at a top-two carrier company.”
The company, which previously saw $6.2 million in nonbinding investor interest, just launched a crowdfunding campaign. For more information, visitwww.startengine.com/startup/
About Primo Connect
Co-headquartered in Costa Mesa and New York, Primo Connect is a wholly owned subsidiary service company of Ka’ena Corporation dedicated to creating innovative communication services that break down barriers and connect people together globally. Since 2006, its team of founders have been creating communications products that enrich lives and make staying in touch more seamless and affordable. For more info on Primo Connect, visit primo.me.