Super-Hot Walkie Talkie App Voxer Was Inspired By Military Experience

Tom Katis

Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider

Voxer, an app that turns your phone into a walkie talkie, is one of the hottest startups in San Francisco. But it wasn’t an overnight success.Tom Katis co-founded Voxer five years ago, but the buzz around Voxer didn’t really start until six months ago.

A source has told us that Voxer is now being downloaded 200,000 times a day. The super hot company is reportedly raising a round of more than $20 million. A source told us that Voxer has been approached by many top venture capitalist firms in the valley. (Katis declined to comment.)

“We wanted to offer something that didn’t exist,” Katis said. “For the last five years, we haven’t pivoted. We’ve always been focused on this one thing, a communications system — where everything is a message but can be fully live,” Katis said. 

Katis said military communication and his frustration with it, inspired him to start Voxer. He thought there should be a better way to receive and send messages in real-time.

He said, imagine you’re getting shot at. Things are challenging and “you have a lot of people you need to talk to,” Katis said. But it’s evolved into something even better than that. It uses a text messaging system, so you don’t miss any messages that come in.

Here is our video interview with Katis, where he describes his inspiration for Voxer, how he decided to turn it into an app, and also gives a quick demo:

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