TextNow Debuts Family Plans and New Prices

TextNow is expanding its low-cost cell phone plans to families in the United States.

Recently named one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, Waterloo-based TextNow is making it possible for current American subscribers to add up to ten additional lines—each with their own number and plan—to take advantage of the wireless carrier’s unlimited calling and texting.

The new TextNow Family Plan also includes designated high-speed data usage amounts for each connected member, meaning users don’t have to worry that one person who streams YouTube on their commute every day.

“TextNow has the advantage of offering our customers a variety of ways to stay connected, including both a free texting app, a paid wireless service offering and low-cost devices,” said TextNow CEO Derek Ting.

“As a company, we continue to look for opportunities to drive enhancements and grow as the needs of our customers grow. Our customers have been asking for a Family Plan option and we’re pleased to be able to provide it for them, starting today,” he added.

Ting launched the company is 2009 with co-founder Jon Lerner as University of Waterloo students. TextNow uses cloud-based technology to deliver its mobile phone service. In lieur of a SIM card, users download the app onto any iOS or Android device that has wifi connectivity to turn it into a phone.

The company has become a Waterloo tech success despite maintaining a low-key status in Canada. Regulatory restrictions have halted TextNow from becoming fully available in the country. The app currently has three million Canadian users who use the cellular alternative.

TextNow has 13.5 million active monthly users and recently hit a company milestone of 100 million downloads. With the launch of the family plan, TextNow unveiled new plan rates offering more data, ranging from 1.5 GB for nearly $20 per month to 5 GB for about $40. To add an additional line to the basic plans under the new family plan offering, it’ll cost users between $20 to $30 a month per additional line.

“With the pricing plan changes announced today, customers can get access to the same low-priced wireless service plans at an average monthly wireless bill amount of $23.50, but with higher data allotments than ever before,” said Ting.

“Providing 3GB of data at the same low price — now double the data customers in the same plan used to have — is a powerful differentiator for TextNow and we’re excited to be able to deliver that value to our customers.”

The Waterloo-grown company expanded into the U.S. in early 2016, opening up an office in San Francisco. They’ve shot up to 90 employees with plans to add as many as 150 new employees. In the past three years, TextNow has experienced 383 per cent revenue growth, earning it a spot in Deloitte’s Fast 50 as they surpassed $44 million in annual revenue.

TextNow is also moving to a new Waterloo headquarters next year, occupying a 25,000-square-foot space in Evolv1: Canada’s first net-zero commercial multi-tenant office building.