Founded by Reno brothers, SnapDesk brings ‘next-gen’ text messaging to businesses
RENO, Nev. — By the time you’re done reading this article, your phone has likely dinged or buzzed with a new text message.
On average, American adults send and receive upward of 100 text messages per day on the high end (see: millennials) and at least 24 texts daily on the low end, according to Pew Research Center.
Simply put, text messaging has become the preferred way people stay connected. What’s more, it’s how a growing percentage of people want to communicate with businesses.
These trends inspired Reno brothers Clint and Cory Vernon to launch tech startup SnapDesk, which has created a “next-gen business text-messaging app with features that turn customer text messages into real-time conversations,” according to the company.
Clint Vernon, the company’s CEO, said helping his family’s longtime small business — a housekeeping company founded by his late grandmother in 1989 — helped inspire Cory, the startup’s lead developer, and him to build a better way to communicate with customers.
“In the past, every company had a 10-digit phone number that was connected to a multiline phone system,” Clint told the NNBW. “So, when customers would call in, all of the phones in the office would ring and whoever was available could answer the phone and help the customer.
“The problem is that customers don’t want to talk on the phone. They want to text message.”
He’s right. According to a Facebook-commissioned Nielsen study, 56% of people surveyed would rather message a business than call customer service, and 58% felt more confident sending a text than calling.
Further, 75% of consumers are frustrated when they cannot respond to a text message from a business due to limitations with certain kinds of texting tools, according to Business Wire.
SnapDesk is designed to solve that problem by being a conversational and collaborative text-messaging platform, Vernon said.
The app also enables a business to organize clients, set up invoice and payment text reminders, schedule appointments, access documents from anywhere, and integrate client QuickBooks Online information.
“Companies don’t have an effective way to text message with their customers in the same way that they can call or talk to them over a multiline phone system,” Clint explained. “So, we’re like a multiline phone system for text messaging in an office.”
The brothers’ path to creating SnapDesk started in 2017 when they became development partners at Intuit, launching their first minimum viable product (MVP) as SnapDesk on the Intuit app store in February 2018, Clint said.
“The point of that first release wasn’t to sell a bunch of subscriptions, it was really just to get out there and start talking to customers,” he continued. “We’ve been on this two-year process of doing that and have been all about listening to customers and building what they want.”
Throughout that process, they found there was a demand for their product.
“We actually became a top 10 new app on the Intuit app store in 2018 — we weren’t expecting that to happen,” said Clint, who later that year brought on Kyle Kuczynski (CMO) and Jason Molt (CTO) as co-founders.
Now, SnapDesk is focused on “selling on a large scale” in 2020 — and settling into a new office in south Reno (1575 Delucchi Lane), which they just got the keys to, Clint said.
“We’re a very nascent startup,” he said. “We’re just getting our footing. And now this year we need to go out and make new sales. We think that we finally have a product that is ready to sell on a large scale.”
Construction could begin next year and require about 500 to 600 workers, with a permanent workforce starting at 150 to 200 people with potential to expand.