By: Carlin Sack | November 19, 2013 (Featured on Built in Los Angeles)
Right now in the mobile messaging world, it’s fair to say that Snapchat and its acquisition-dodging ways are hogging the attention. But TigerText, an enterprise-facing older cousin to Snapchat, has been making some big waves, too.
TigerText has been on a “growth tear” for the past year, increasing its subscriber base more than sixfold since the end of 2012, co-founder and CEO Brad Brooks said. To deal, they are hiring like crazy to expand their Santa Monica-based team of 40.
Over 100 million messages are sent through TigerText per month, a stat that, considering TigerText’s completely different purpose of providing secure messaging for healthcare and enterprises, is just as impressive as Snapchat’s 350 million messages sent a day.
As TigerText continues to rack up its message count to over a billion this year, the team is rolling out “the new generation of TigerText,” a single “robust and enterprise-focused” app that allows users to securely interact with the multiple organizations and enterprises in which they are involved.
“We’ve realized that the real nature of healthcare has required us to rethink the product,” Brooks said. “Oftentimes you have an employee, a clinician or caregiver, who is a member of multiple enterprises and organizations. We now realize we need to support multiple organizational hierarchies in one app, where each enterprise can control its directory and conversation. This will allow the end-user to rotate or access different enterprises from within TigerText.”
In addition to realizing the need for the app’s 3 million users to access several enterprises from one app, the team also realized that many of them also want to use TigerText for personal use. And Brooks said he “figured in time they’d want to add their organization as well,” so the TigerText team developed what TechCrunch dubbed a “freemium” model. This model allows users to add their company employees alongside their personal contacts on TigerText but allows them to have separate personal and professional conversations from one integrated app.
The revamped TigerText is far-out from what Brooks and his brother, Andrew Brooks, envisioned TigerText to be when they founded it in 2010: they aimed the app mostly at healthcare professionals who needed to communicate quickly with coworkers, yet comply with HIPAA patient privacy regulations.
“I come from a family of physicians – my dad is a physician, my brother is a physician – and growing up, I saw my dad’s pager tethered to his belt,” Brooks said. “I know pagers still have a bastion in healthcare, but I was also aware that physicians were beginning to rely on their smartphones more and more.”
Right now, many of the 10,000 organizations that use TigerText are in the healthcare field, but Brooks said the team is planning to expand over the next year to banking, financial, legal services, government and any other organizations that “have a need and desire to control how and when people access information.”
“Companies want to ensure their data doesn’t live out there eternally on other devices,” Brooks said. “And TigerText addresses these concerns.”