Could a Denton startup's big idea be the next big thing?
They certainly hope so, as their phone app "Flyp" approaches two million downloads nationwide.
"We're encouraged," said Murray Kawchuk, President of Flyp. "Success is always a nice thing to have."
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Flyp is an app that allows users to operate multiple phone numbers from a single smart phone.
Kawchuck says the idea is to make things more convenient and cheaper for the growing number of people who use two or more phones daily.
"Our cost base is a fraction of the big guys," said Kawchuk. "Say you wanted a second line — depending on which plan you have, you're looking at 40, 50, or even 80 bucks a month. We can do it for $8. So it's an enormous cost savings and we can do it all on one device."
Flyp will assign users real, working phone numbers from any area code they choose. They can then text and make / receive calls from those numbers, which each have a unique ringtone and voicemail box.
Rick Pixler, Flyp's Vice President of Global Operations, says there are all kinds of scenarios where that would be attractive.
"There's a real need," said Pixler. "For some, it's privacy — they say I don't want to give out my [personal] mobile number. Some could care less. They just want a second line. And the world changes — we see freelancers, entrepreneurs, real estate agents, sales folks on the go and wanting that ability to have multiple numbers."
The app can also assign numbers from Mexico and Canada, giving users the ability to place local calls to friends, family, and other contacts in those countries.
Pixler and Kawchuk acknowledge that someone with bad intentions could try to use this technology for more nefarious purposes. And that's why they've worked to put safeguards in place.
For example, users have to register their phone in order to use the app.
"We're focusing on the 99.9 percent of the population that are noble and good and just trying to live their lives," said Kawchuk. "And a lot of law enforcement agencies are using Flyp because it helps them with some of their pursuits."
Flyp requires a monthly or yearly subscription and is available for both Apple and Android devices.