For Immediate release (Summary)
–Chat.Center is now a full SaaS platform, developers and web site owners can integrate it into their apps and service. There are now 3 methods of integration – simple URL, “Click to Chat” Button and Widget. Live examples at http://archimedeslabs.com.
–The Chat.Center web site is now a fully featured registration and chat service. The iOS app now requires you register on the web site before you can login.
–Chat.Center is no longer freemium; it is a paid service – $1.99 per month per chat ID. Existing accounts get 12 months free. New users get 30 days free. This is extremely competitive pricing (compared to Olark, LivePerson, Intercomm and others).
–We have a new home – https://chat.center. Thanks to Donuts registry for their cooperation in partnering with us on the name. The old URL https://chatcenter.me continues to work and will forward to Chat.Center.
–The Chat.Center app is now in the Business category on the app store
–Chat.Center is launching beta group chats today, on the day Friendfeed is closed. https://chat.center/gillmorgang will be used in today’s Gillmor Gang show.
— Chat.Center will soon launch its Android App. In the meanwhile Android and other mobile users can use the Web App at https://chat.center.
Chat.Center is pleased to make several announcements today. After several months of work the team has now fully completed the work of making the Chat.Center service a full SaaS platform. We have also completed the web client and it is available immediately at https://chat.center. It supports full web registration, account management and chat usage.
Alongside this we have updated our iOS client to version 2.0.1 – available in the Business category of the App Store.
Chat.Center is now a paid service, although existing users will continue to enjoy it for free for 12 months. New users get 30 days free and then pay $1.99 per chat ID registered.
Chat ID’s are simple URL’s pointing to a real-time asynchronous chat session with the ID owner. For Example Chat.Center Customer Care can be reached on https://chat.center/cc. The Chat ID here is /cc. Chat.Center IDs are perfect for small businesses who want to support customers with a call-center like functionality but cannot justify the cost of an actual call center or help desk. There are millions of Small and Medium Enterprises, Self-Employed individuals and other entities for whom $1.99 a month is an appropriately affordable proce point.
Additionally, as of today Chat.Center can be found on the web at https://chat.center. The company has partnered with Donuts – owner of the .center top-level domain – and will use Chat.Center from now on. Dan Schindler, co-founder and EVP at Donuts said:
“We are thrilled to partner with Chat.Center for its domain name. Chat Center – through its Chat IDs and Mobile clients – shows the enduring relevance of domain names in a mobile world. And what a great use for a domain name and URL. It isn’t just a web site, it is a full SaaS chat service available to every individual business and organization on the planet – no matter how small. Chat.Center’s IDs are a seamless way for businesses to offer customers a way to reach them.”
Finally, Chat.Center is announcing that is now supports group chat – in a beta implementation. Founder Keith Teare said:
“Today is the day that Friendfeed will close. It has long been my favorite group chat service. As of today The Gillmor Gang, a long standing user of Friendfeed, will be able to continue live group chats alongside the Friday show at https://chat.center/gillmorgang. This is a simple Chat ID that can be shared in Tweets, on Facebook and anywhere, as a URL. Users simply click and are in the chat. All Chat.Center IDs work this way. We look forward to providing real time chat to many customers in the months ahead.”
For more information please contact Keith Teare:
Donuts is at http://donuts.co
In an email to users the company said:
Today we made a major update of the app and all our other systems. Until you install the new version your app will not work. Please go to the app store on your IOS device and update the app.
We now charge all new Chat Center users $1.99/month per Chat ID. As an existing user you will receive 12 months free, starting from today.
The new app has many new features. Most importantly it has a new address https://chat.center. The old https://chatcenter.me address will continue to work, but your chat name is now http://chat.center/yourchatname
We have especially optimized the app for business use. You can put your name on your web site, in email campaigns and indeed even your business card. See the app store for more details.
For the full update go to http://chat.center. There is now a full web version, including registration. Indeed, the app is only usable by those who register on the web site for an account.
Congratulations to portfolio company Weendy. Katerina Stroponiati and Yiannis Varelas’ startup now counts AOL, Great Oaks, Winklevoss Capital, BBG Ventures and Morado Venture Partners among its investor base.
At the same time Weendy has re-branded to The Sunshine Company (or just plain Sunshine) and is working to launch a major new product.
Congratulations to Idan Beck and Incident Technologies – they now have a new product to join the Gtar. Keys is a modular wireless and midi Keyboard. It is ingenious in function and a thing of beauty.
The product launched an indiegogo campaign and reached its target within a few hours.
With today’s launch of Downtown, Palo Alto residents will be able to purchase goods from a curated list of high quality local stores. Their purchases can be delivered for free or picked up the same day.
Local shopping can be frustrating and time consuming. Avoiding the travel and the point of sale has been a primary driver of online ecommerce growth. Local retailers have suffered a decline in sales to cloud based vendors as a result. But Downtown plans to change all that.
The two decades long decline of the high street, due to too little innovation discovery and purchasing of goods is set to end.
Downtown simplifies commerce by offering customers a curated list of high quality local stores. Ordering is as simple as just 2 taps from their mobile device. They can pick their purchase up at the store, or get same day delivery for free. The chosen stores now have the ability make their top items mobile and available.
Downtown has built an app for the store to manage their inventory and an app for the consumer to discover, purchase and take delivery. Pricing can benefit from demand knowledge, extending dynamic pricing to the high street for the first time.
The Downtown team is design-driven and strongly believes in a curated shops approach to create a truly great shopping experience.
Co-founder Phillip Buckendorf said:
Most of the existing e-commerce solutions have their roots in a website driven experience. We have built a mobile-first experience that takes into account the opportunities smart mobile devices provide. We have made it available to both merchants and customers.
Today, Downtown is announcing the roll-out of its first city – Palo Alto – featuring a great mix of local stores including Alegio Chocolate and big brand retailers like Keen Garage.
Downtown’s launch is its first move in making local stores mobile, and providing consumers with the ease of shopping of Amazon, together with same day delivery of pick up – customers can now make purchases efficiently and seamlessly without physically being in the store.
Downtown also announced its seed round of funding led by Archimedes Labs – investors in Quixey, M.dot, QFactor and others. Archimedes Labs founder Keith Teare said:
We invested in Downtown before Christmas and are announcing it today. We will also participate in their current round. Downtown is not a local delivery business or a local payment platform for brick and mortar shopping, Nor is it a local version of Amazon. It is all of those and then some. Once the high street becomes shoppable from home, the small guy makes a come-back. Phillip and his team have a great vision and the ability to execute. We expect great things.
DownTown is available now in the iOS App Store.
Chance by just.me is the first app to be produced by the new just.me (just.me 2014 Inc).
After a successful launch on 1 January the app has had tens of thousands of downloads, has a highly engaged user base with average session times above 15 minutes, and is truly global, having established users in more than 100 countries. Almost 2 million messages have been exchanged in the first 3 weeks.
Here are a few screen dumps from Google Analytics that show the initial launch statistics.