Confiz Systems recently unveiled their second product targeting the PK Market. Mango is a "SMS based social network" for the masses. It is somewhat similar to Twitter, but not focused on micro-blogging – rather they let people mass-send SMSes to their friends or to special groups.
A number of our readers are already aware of this startup, and some were quick to point out that this is very similar to Chopaal.pk. Both Confiz and Chopaal were incubated out of LUMS but there is no clear indication to imply that the idea was shared.
I’m not a big SMS user, but I can see this application taking off in this market. First of all they’ve designed it so that the app will spread virally because people can sign up and sign their friends in with just an SMS. The value to heavy SMS-users is the money they save from sending fewer messages to reach most of their friends, added privacy via number protection, and a more streamlined way to communicate with each other because you can just set up a "anyone for lunch" group rather than sending out a number of sms’s to different people. Groups based on different topics of discussion just seems to make sense.
For local Twitter users, Mango and Chopaal both offer a similar system (create a group and communicate) but with a local number instead of the UK number to sms to.
An example that is very similar in a nearly identical context is SMS Gup Shup based in India – although initially called a Twitter clone, they allowed people to join networks quickly and virally through sms alone (and without going through a website registration) which has led them to gain 7-times the userbase of Twitter. SMS Gup Shup recently raised $10M in funding from Charles Rivers Ventures and Helion Venture Partners
Good luck guys and keep us posted on user uptake.