If you thought text messaging was just for your kids, think again. One of Flytxt's biggest campaigns targeted over-50s for Deutsche Bank's mutual fund-managing arm DWS. Flytxt's 26-year-old German-born founder Lars Becker says text messaging has easily outperformed WAP, despite predictions to the contrary.
He spotted the potential in 1999, when he founded Flytxt to help companies run SMS marketing campaigns. After a lean start, he persuaded Mars Capital and German venture capital company IVC to invest dollars 1.24 million in his firm. The first big client was Emap's teen mag Smash Hits, which used text messaging to recruit new readers. Channel 5 followed, with a campaign in which viewers could watch a film, then answer an on-screen question about the movie via SMS. Flytxt has since also agreed a deal with Momentum pictures for forthcoming teen movie Get Over It.
'I've always liked building things, and I'm really enjoying building this company,' says Becker, who founded it with the help of former colleagues from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. 'We're the leading company in this space at the moment and we want to hold on to that position in the UK and expand into Germany.' Flytxt already has a Frankfurt office. Becker admits that the long hours at Flytxt have turned him into a prolific SMS user - it's the only way he can keep in touch with his long-suffering girlfriend.