Israeli Yallo raises its second funding round this year to expand its call recording offerings
One of the more intuitive verticals in mobile apps is call recording. However, the industry has been surprisingly difficult to crack. Some phones restrict call recording while others simply aren’t equipped for it. A number of apps have tried breaking into the space.
One of those call recording apps, Yallo, is showing promise. As it prepares to launch its new iOS app (to follow up from its original Android version), the company announced Thursday that it has raised $2.5 million in a funding round led by German telecom juggernaut Deutsche Telekom’s ventures arm DTSI and current investor Carmel Ventures. This adds to the $4 million of venture capital they received in March.
The company relies on in-app purchases and credits to raise revenue but offers free credits for people who have just downloaded the app. App-to-app calls are free through the app with low rates for anyone calling regular phones. The app also provides the bonus of enabling local calls via WiFi while traveling. All calls are recorded by default and the app lets users email recordings back for preservation without cluttering your phone storage.
There are also a number of free and pay-to-use competitors in the space. Free apps include ACR Call Recorder, Galaxy Call Recorder (for Samsung users), RMC: Android Call Recorder and Easy Voice Recorder. Paid apps include some paid versions of the free apps, Automatic Call Recorder Pro, TapeACall Pro, All Call Recorder Deluxe, and others.
Does it work? Thankfully, unlike a lot of call recorder apps, yes
The reason the market has been tough to crack may have to do with software. Some phones require rooting to get any apps to work, but that might change depending on software updates and depending on how new the model is. In the past, this reporter has had difficulty getting apps to work on his Moto G 2nd generation, but Yallo worked when tested.
There are also legal caveats of recording phone calls based on legislation which presumably was originally intended to protect individuals from predatory calls or privacy violations. Laws vary country to country and state to state on the permissibility of call recording, making some manufacturers and models so weary of confronting legal challenges that they have essentially blocked such apps’ use on their devices. Germany requires both parties (and presumably more on group calls) to consent to recording or risk prosecution; Denmark has no restrictions; U.S. laws vary state to state. The Italian Supreme Court of Cassation has said not only is recording legal, but the records can be used as evidence in court (Italian). In Israel, only one party needs to know about the recording.
Yallo was co-founded by CEO Tal Elyashiv and CTO Yosi Taguri. The executive staff is rounded out by VP Product Erez Naveh and VP Operations Gabby Levine. They employ 15 people at their headquarters in Tel Aviv.