U.S. News

Vumber: A Stunt Double for Phone Numbers

Linda R. Sittenfeld, Senior Producer

Do you want total control over your phone number? Want to track calls made by dozens of salespeople? Want a local number in L.A. when your business is in New York? All this and keeping identity thieves at bay are possible with virtual numbers made available through a company called Vumber.

Cliff Wener, co-founder of Vumber, explains:

What's Vumber and how does it work?
Vumber is a virtual number for your phone, basically a second number for any phone you have. You can have more than one on any phone. Before this when you gave out your cell you thought about it. Especially in the U.S., people are reluctant to give out their cell number. Now you can hand out a number and be in control of it. You can change or abandon it at anytime. And the number you got from Verizon and ATT stays the same.

Does this work for businesses as well as individuals?
There are lots of business uses. You can have a local L.A. number, even if your company is in New York. You can track data from the number. For example you can give a Vumber to your 10 sales people on the floor of a trade show. Then you can see how many calls they made, how long the calls were, and you can track their sales.

Are you making money right now?
We are not cash positive yet. We only launched on January 22. But we sell it for more than it costs us. And that's with a business model of $9.99/mo. for unlimited service. We have specials for less than that. There is no formal business market. It's a straight consumer play through the Internet. But we've had some businesses buy 200 numbers at a time, or use a Vumber in an ad, so they can track the calls. We're also working on some business deals to come out in the next few weeks.

Where did you get your original funding? Are you looking for more?
We were funded early by a family real estate firm, an angel, who wants to remain anonymous. We're not desperate for venture capital right now, but always looking.

What's ahead?
We have a deal going with PalTalk.com, the world's largest social casting network. These guys do audio and video conferences. They will actively push Vumbers to their 4 million subscribers. The announcement will come out right after the show.