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No Rats, But Boomtown Scores Big Investment From Telstra

Telstra Ventures – an investment subsidiary of Australia’s No 1 telco – has pumped an unknown amount, but believed to be many millions of dollars, into Boomtown, a privately-owned US company that delivers imaginative support services, pictured, to small business customers.

And it appears that Telstra is considering offering Boomtown services to its home and small-business customers across Australia. It’s already said to be trialling the services in the Down Under small-business sector.

The Boomtown move is the second major US investment revealed by Telstra Ventures this week. Earlier it had announced plans to pump similarly-unstated amounts into San-Francisco-based Singular, a company that offers a marketing analytics platform for many of the world’s most popular mobile apps.

Boomtown’s basic support services include innovative chat, video and Web-based sessions with local experts across America, priced at US$19 per location per month. It also has a network of 600 technicians for in-store support.

While it won’t talk about money, Telstra Ventures is happy to talk about its directions. Said MD Mark Sherma: “Platinum technical support is already one of our most popular  consumer customer service offerings and Boomtown could potentially take that to the next level for our business customers.”

Added Boomtown CEO Alfred “Chip” Kahn: “We are looking at expanding the geographical footprint of our platform, and with its strong customer base, both in Australia and Asia, Telstra’s investment plays a significant part in that endeavour.”

 In case you were wondering: the US company appears to have no connection with the famed – or in some eyes infamous – Boomtown Rats, the boozy Irish rock band led by the even more boozy Bob Geldof.  In the 1980s, the Rats, originally known as the Nightlife Thugs, were renamed for a gang of children that Geldof had read about in Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, Bound for Glory.

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