textPlus Adds International Calls

Marina Del Rey-based textPlus, the provider of free texting and calling services, said Thursday that it has begun offering up inexpensive, international calling services via its Android application. textPlus said Android users in the US and Canada can make calls to any international mobile or landline number starting at two cents a minute. The firm said its rates are 10 times less expensive per minute than typical international calling rates. textPlus, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Matrix Partners, GRP Partners and The Raine Group, has been offering free in-network calls to others users anywhere in the world since last year. Along with the international calling features, textPlus also said it launched a major update to its iOS software, adding integrated texting and calling within the same app; the international calling features are expected to roll out in early 2013 in the iOS version. textPlus is led by Scott Lahman, a serial entrepreneur who previously co-founded JAMDAT Mobile. The firm's apps are particularly popular with users looking to avoid the high cost of texting plans, or who do not otherwise have access to texting.