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julep33As the Seattle startup scene continues to grow, so do opportunities to form partnerships with neighboring companies.

And that’s exactly what happened with two fast-growing startups here in the Emerald City: group-SMS service Tatango and cosmetics company Julep.

Both companies knew each other because of shared mutual investors. When Julep launched their e-commerce site, Tatango CEO Derek Johnson quickly realized how his team could help Julep’s business.

Tatango allows people or businesses to send unlimited group texts from both their computer and mobile phone for a fee dependent on the amount of phone numbers. Johnson founded Tatango five years ago in his college dorm room and it was originally a way for fraternities to communicate via text messaging.

“I reached out to Julep’s marketing team and they immediately recognized the added value of sending text message promotions directly to their customers mobile phones,” Johnson said.

tatango3Julep, which recently landed $10.3 million in venture capital financing, also saw immediate results. In the first week of its text-messaging launch, the startup saw over 5,000 new opt-ins from consumers texting JULEP to 33733 on their mobile phones to join their mobile SMS club. In return for joining the club, Julep sent out a special promotion for 50 percent of their next nail color.


“To see 5,000 opt-ins the first week of launch was a great indication that this is something our audience wants,” Julep social marketing manager Heather Harrington said. “We want to be wherever the customer is and increasingly that’s on mobile devices.”

Harrington added that it’s “always a plus” working with a fellow Seattle startup, and Johnson shared similar feelings.

Got to love the Seattle startup scene.
Got to love the Seattle startup scene.

“While the majority of our clients are outside of the Seattle area, I know the Tatango team really enjoys working with local companies like Julep,” said Johnson, whose company just acquired Broadtexter. “It adds another dynamic to the campaign that is hard to match when both companies aren’t in the same city. I think more Seattle companies need to follow Julep’s footsteps in first looking locally for service providers, as this can only benefit the Seattle startup scene and help it’s growth.”

You’ve got to love what’s going on here and I’d imagine more local partnerships like this will start surfacing. The startup scene here bustling — after all, how many places in the world are working on asteroid miningsonic-powered vibrators and robot-powered retail? Those stories get us fired up, as do the truly extraordinary voyages of so many other entrepreneurs.

We’re excited to see what’s next for Seattle, especially when you’ve got people like Tableau CEO Christian Chabot saying it’s the promised land of startup America.

Previously on GeekWire: What makes the Seattle startup community so cool? 

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