Startup of the Week / Crowdx: Finds the Best Mobile Operator for You

Amitai Ziv
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Amitai Ziv

Sick of your friends, colleagues or clients complaining that they can’t hear you because the line is breaking up, even when you’re not in an elevator? A new app can help choose the cellular provider with the best reception for you, by examining your individual calling patterns and making a personalized recommendation that could finally allow you to complete your phone calls.

The application is called Glove, presumably in the hope that the cell provider will fit you like one, and is being launched in Israel on Sunday. It will later become available in the United States as well.

“From now on, it’s no longer necessary to rely on television or Internet ads or on the recommendations of your friends or family,” said Gil Friedlander, CEO of Crowdx, maker of the Glove app. “By using the Glove application, every user will know which is the best provider for him. In an era of free choice in the cellular market and a simple and easy way of making phone numbers mobile, Glove enables the user to make rational consumer decisions when choosing a mobile provider.”

Crowdx's name originates with the company's aim: to crowd-source the mobile experience.

Here’s how it works. You download the app and give it three days to collect the data on your calling patterns. Then it reports which company offers the best reception for the areas where the phone is used most, whether it’s work, home or somewhere else, like your favorite cafe. If you want, you can press a single button to contact the recommended company and get an offer. These days, if you switch, you get to keep your phone number.

More people could use this technology than you might think, according to the market research conducted by Crowdx.

“In the course of development we discovered the following astonishing statistic: Three out of four users don’t use the optimal cellular network for them,” said Friedlander.

The technology behind Glove is based on the technology developed in Friedlander’s previous app, Tawkon, which also tracks the inner workings of mobile phones, though the previous app uses the information to alert the user when the phone is emitting a high level of radiation. (Tawkon made the news in 2011, when Apple refused to let it be sold in its App Store.)

Glove bases its business model on commissions from the cellular providers, some of which pay for customers who contact the company through the app and some of which pay a commission, which can reach up to $75, only if the customer actually switches providers.

“Customers who join because of reception are very loyal customers who are even willing to pay a premium for a network with good coverage,” said Friedlander. “In Israel, there aren’t even price differences between the providers, so just pick the company with the best reception. It’s important for me to add that even though we get fees from the providers, we are not dependent on any provider, and we serve the customer first.”

Crowdx has 10 employees. Its investors include Janvest Technologies and ad-man Ilan Shiloach’s incubator The Time.

You can use the Crowdx app to find a mobile operator that will fit you like a glove.Credit: Tal Shani
Crowdx founders, from left: Gil Friedlander, Ori Goshen and Amit Lubovsky.Credit: Crowdx