Poptalk, a smartphone application created to bridge the communication and connectivity gap between immigrants and their families has launched in the US and Latin America earlier this month (these countries have the world’s most expensive mobile rates, and a limited number of companies offering services). The app is the brainchild of former Google managers, UC Berkeley graduate Victor Santos and Harvard graduate Sara Choi, both technology entrepreneurs with immigrant families, as a solution to serve underserved communities.
“From day 1 we created this company because we believe the ability to stay in contact with your loved ones shouldn’t be a privilege just for the rich, especially when 83% of the world lives in an emerging market” said co-founder Sara Choi.
“We want to help the under-served stay connected to their loved ones by being the first company to provide a completely free telecom alternative that includes calling (regardless of if you have internet), texting, and even data (through the ability to use Poptalk credits to top-up your prepaid phone)” added co-founder Victor Santos.
The free application allows Android users (iOS to follow in March) to call or SMS any phone for free by simply renting their smartphone lock screens to sponsors, receiving credits daily by using their phones normally. Users can also use these credits to pay for their relatives’ cellphone service and data in Latin America.
There are 54M Latinos living in the U.S with over 1.5 trillion purchasing power. This, coupled with Latinos over indexing on international mobile communication and their propensity to be willing to view ads for free services is a tangible value proposition for advertisers targeting this highly coveted audience.
This is the first app to provide free international calling and SMS to any kind of phone within Latin America. Current apps require both parties to have smartphones and mobile data to communicate – only 19% of Latin America meets this requirement.
Poptalk will launch with the Android Market 4.0+. The iOS Market will follow in end of March 2016.