Zoove Snags $13M in Series C

Zoove just landed a cash infusion of $13M to roll out their abbreviated dialing mobile direct response marketing platform across the major US carriers. The round was led by Highland Capital Partners, Worldview Technolgoy Partners and Cardinal Capital Partners.

What on earth is “abbreviated dialing mobile direct response marketing,” you ask? The patent-pending technology lets marketers engage consumers in interactive campaigns via a mobile phone through basic dialing. Instead of a text message, users dial a unique ## or ** code as if they were dialing a normal telephone number, and in response the phone can get a variety of user-targeted responses… a text message, link to web page, video, image, or product information.

If all U.S. carriers opt in to the new short-code type system, it could be an easy way for mobile marketers to get users to dial in for coupons, deals, and more info in real time. But, with the rising popularity of text messaging and smartphones, does this sort of simple code make sense?

Mobile messaging just broke another record, according to a report that came out from VeriSign today. During the second quarter of 2009, VeriSign delivered a total of 94.8 billion messages across its combined mobile mesaging platforms for an overall growth of more than 82 percent since Q2 of 2008.

Still, the VCs backing Palo Alto-based Zoove’s third round think the technology is going to give mobile advertisers a better shot at reaching their customers, and be a valuable addition to mobile marketing offerings.

“Brand advertisers are constantly seeking more effective direct response mechanisms to engage and interact with mobile consumers and Zoove’s ubiquitous mobile direct response marketing platform will give them that capability,” said Sean Dalton, General Partner at Highland Capital, in a release. “We are excited about the possibilities that this opens up for the integration of traditional advertising with mobile devices as a direct response and customer engagement platform.”