Mobile startup Vokl launches consumer-facing app

Vokl is launching a "consumer-facing version" of its app this week, says CEO and Co-Founder Tom Higley. The company, currently "four full-time equivalents," will add sales and support staff in 2013, he adds.
"Traction is very important for us," says Higley. After the launch, he adds, "We'll grow pretty significantly."
"The genesis of all this is an obsession with the power of a smartphone to create an interesting connection between the users and their environment," says Higley, who launched the company with Vasily Vasinov in July 2012.
"It almost works as an Instagram for businesses," says Higley of Vokl's original app. A sandwich board is more effective than mobile for many businesses, he adds, because the proper tools have not been available. "I often say, 'A smartphone is useful for a ton of things but for merchants sometimes it's as dumb as a banana.'"
Clients include Roxy Boutique, a women's clothing store with locations in Vail and Denver. "They take pictures of basically everything in the store," says Higley. The app allows them to add text and publish to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. "When that content finds its way to the user base, it gets attention in a significant way."
Target markets include retail, food and beverage and spectator sports.
Vokl is self-funded to date. Higley says he's pursuing a seed round in the neighborhood of $1 million.

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