Monday, November 16, 2009

News Release: Ground-Breaking Mobile Classified Ad Service Fulfills a Mexican-American Entrepreneur's Dream

SAN FRANCISCO, November 16, 2009—When iPling Inc.’s ¡Anunciate al Instante! (Instant Classifieds!) mobile-phone-based classified advertising service launches in Mexico City this month, it will be the culmination of a dream for Manuel Monroy, a Mexican entrepreneur working in Silicon Valley. Monroy’s vision is to provide simple yet revolutionary tools wherever mobile technology can be leveraged to connect and empower people. Equally gratifying to Monroy, the ¡Anunciate al Instante! service will first be available in his home country and come later to the U.S. Too often in Mexico it has been the other way around, with U.S. services belatedly migrating south of the border.

Monroy explains, “While the world is in the midst of a mobile revolution, most emerging markets remain wide open for creative localized solutions. When we looked at the decades of stagnation of Mexico’s classified ad industry we just had to step in. If our launch goes as planned, iPling will soon host the largest second-hand and personals marketplace in the country.”

¡Anunciate al Instante! operates entirely through text (SMS) messages, meaning it’s available to virtually everyone with a mobile phone. Initially it will only work on phones served by Telcel, the country’s dominant carrier, but Monroy is in talks with other carriers to ensure that the service is ubiquitous in the near future. Using the service is as simple as sending a text message. Using the Short Code 99123 you can post an ad to sell, barter, or rent goods and services, as well as post jobs, events, and personals ads or manage your account. Users can browse listings by entering keywords and categories, and correspond safely/anonymously among themselves. Each message sent through the iPling gateway costs MXN1.50 (roughly US$0.11).

¡Anunciate al Instante! improves upon traditional classified ads because it’s available for posting or browsing any time, anywhere you have your mobile phone—instantly, whenever it’s convenient or timely. In addition, the service is location-aware, automatically ranking browsing results according to the proximity of the interested parties. For example, if you want to trade a DVD with someone within walking distance; if you’re looking for a handyman in the neighborhood; or if you want to buy a used TV without having to pay for shipping and wait for delivery, iPling’s ¡Anunciate al Instante! is at your fingertips, ready to connect you with people nearby. It’s also affordable, costing only a few pesos per interaction, compared to MXN100-400 for a newspaper ad.

A native of Mexico City, Monroy earned an undergraduate engineering degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from UCLA. He worked at Mattel, Inc., and at Andersen’s Silicon Valley office prior to moving full-time into an entrepreneurial career. For the past several years Monroy has worked with the Silicon Valley chapter of Mexico’s Technology Business Accelerator (TechBA) and has been an active speaker at Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Red de Talentos events. He’s also served on the board of Hispanic-Net, a thriving community of Bay Area Hispanics in High-Tech. In 2007 Monroy founded iPling Inc., a company devoted to mobile, location-enabled social networking services. iPling’s first service, “Find and Be Found,” launched on June 29, 2007, the same day as the iPhone, and was soon named one of the “Top 25 Web Apps for iPhone.”

Later this month iPling’s ¡Anunciate al Instante! will be available as a downloadable iPhone application in both Mexico and the US, in Spanish and English. The ¡Anunciate al Instante! service was developed through a technology partnership with Spime, Inc., of Fremont, CA, a leading provider of location-enabling technologies for the mobile market.


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