Friday, April 21, 2006

RED HERRING | Jingle Rings Up $26 Million

"Jingle Networks, a provider of U.S. advertising-supported directory assistance, said Thursday it had raised $26 million in its second round of financing.

The funding was led by previous investor Liberty Associated Partners and included First Round Capital, IDG Ventures Boston, and Comcast Interactive Capital.

Menlo Park, California-based Jingle Network�s service, 1-800-FREE411, connects users to their requested look-up after playing a 10- to 12-second advertisement for a similar service. That�s in contrast to the $1 to $2 charged by paid directory assistance companies.

Jingle, which is less than one year old, claims at least 2 percent of users choose to be connected to the advertiser rather than their original request.

In March, the company handled 7 million calls from 3 million unique customers. That�s enough, said founder and chief technology officer Scott Kliger, to start actively soliciting advertisers, especially local businesses��the dentist, the travel agent, the beauty salon,� Mr. Kliger said�in contrast to a national brand like Domino's Pizza. "

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