Pinnatta combines the chintziness of greeting cards with the utility of messaging apps
Pinnatta -- pronounced the same way as the popular candy-filled products but spelled differently because fuck it, they're a startup -- today announced that it has raised a $1.5 million seed round from PJ Tech Catalyst and Odyssey Venture Partners.
The company is yet another startup seeking to capitalize on changing communication habits wrought by the rise of mobile devices. Its app, which is available for iOS and Android, allows users to send "interactive messages" to other users.
The difference between Pinnatta and other communications services, according to Pinnatta CEO George Spanoudakis, is that it isn't trying to replace other messaging apps. "It's not for every single text message, but it's for special messages," he says. "With Pinnatta you give value to your message. You make it different. You make it unique."
A demo video on Pinnatta's website shows the service being used to send birthday wishes, inform loved ones of surprise visits to Paris, and convince a dedicated college student to ditch her studies to go grab some coffee. The oddly dramatic actors are able to browse Pinnatta's many interactive cards, personalize them with their own messages, and quickly send 'em to their friends.
Pinnatta's interactive messages make sense, given the newfound popularity of short, simple, and highly-visual communications.
There's a reason why Facebook, Path, and seemingly every other social company is adding stickers and other visual messaging tools to their service -- they appeal to teenagers, or at least that's what the post-pubescent people behind these tools think, anyway.
"We want for you to, in every aspect of your communication, have the ability to communicate interactively with someone else in a more fun and more happy way," Spanoudakis says. He expects to use the funding to expand Pinnatta's service to the iPad later this year and to smart televisions next year in an attempt to realize that goal.
The trouble with Pinnatta's messages is that they carry all the emotional weight of the clip-art included with every copy of Microsoft Word. Spanoudakis says that Pinnatta began by trying to re-imagine the greeting card for mobile devices before focusing on interactive messages, and it shows.
But, then, perhaps that can work for Pinnatta.
"We're not looking to replace your text messenger," Spanoudakis says. "We're not looking to replace your iPhone text messenger or Android text messenger or WhatsApp or whatever it is you're doing."
Instead, the company wants to make it easier to send messages that are a little more thoughtful. It's a bit like purchasing a greeting card (again, not a coincidence) instead of just calling or texting someone: Though it might seem pointless, chintzy, and perhaps a waste of money, it's the thought that counts.
[Image Credit: WikiMedia]