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SuperPhone is building a Salesforce for texting

The address book is the last, worst default app you rely on. It’s time it got as smart as the rest of our phones. That’s the idea behind SuperPhone.

Email isn’t how you build relationships anymore. Yet most business software sanctifies the spammy inbox when it’s the immediacy of text messaging that keeps people in touch today. Musician Ryan Leslie learned that when he earned $2 million by building a custom text management product to track, talk to, and transact with his fans. Now he’s turning SuperPhone into a full-fledged CRM for SMS with a new app and round of funding.

Designed for entrepreneurs, entertainers, and anyone juggling clients or sales contacts, SuperPhone tells you who you’re forgetting to connect with. Its Never Lose Touch feature can automatically ping lapsed contacts to keep the conversation and collaboration alive. You can monitor how your address book is growing, and sort people by location, title, or how much they’ve spent with you. Next it’s adding analytics to show who messages who more and other communication health signals.

“SuperPhone is the first foray into personal relationship management” says co-founder and CEO Ryan Leslie.

The Grammy nominated RnB singer and producer made 2006’s top five hit “M & U” for pop star Cassie, plus has created tracks for Usher and Britney Spears. But then he taught himself to program on Codeacademy, realizing that the imploding record industry would turn being a successful celebrity into a game of who had the best tools for connecting with fans.

The result was SuperPhone, and Leslie giving all his listeners his phone number. The app let him see who had spent the most on his music and merch, and speak with them directly to keep them loyal. While other artists were counting their meager streaming royalty pennies, Leslie was finding out who would pay $1,700 for tickets to a private New Year’s Eve concert. SuperPhone turned his modest fame into massive revenue.

Hip-hop super fan and VC super star Ben Horowitz joined Leslie’s $1.5 million seed round alongside BetaWorks and a slew of angels. Atlantic Records became SuperPhone’s top enterprise client, managing half a million conversations with fans of its artists from Cardi B to Matchbox 20. Now the company has 22 employees and grander visions than equipping musicians.