has bet heavily on building a voice search platform for telecom carriers, Yellow Pages publishers and other providers of ad-supported directory assistance. Now the 150-person company, partially owned by YPG and just listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has enhanced its mission with a series of acquisitions. These include BTS Logic, an international directory assistance company, and Phone Spots, which delivers advanced mobile data services tied to Yellow Pages and DA searches — including advertising.
“Voice is the ultimate user interface,” says Call Genie CEO Mike Durance. “But data is important as well. Our goal is to deliver content and targeting information that reflects our users’ lifestyle. Together, these assets are more powerful.”
With the acquisitions, Durance says the company has moved from being “just” a voice-enabled Yellow Pages solution to a much more dominant mobile search company. “The applications are truly intermingled with a broad reach,” he says, noting that the company now provides 31 different services, including paid 411, information portals, vanity Yellow Pages numbers, vanity newspaper numbers and classifieds.
While Call Genie is looking in new directions, its core business — Enhanced Voice Directory — continues to build. As my colleague Michael Taylor reports below, AT&T has announced that its directory assistance in the nine-state BellSouth region will launch a business category search product in 2008 using Call Genie’s EVD.