Tellme Networks is a company founded in 1999 by Mike McCue and Angus Davis[2], based out of Mountain View, California, in the United States, that specializes in telephone-based applications.

Tellme Networks was acquired by Microsoft on March 14, 2007 for "close to $800M".[3] The deal closed in late April. Tellme's phone network processes more than two billion unique calls per year.[4]


In April 1999, the Tellme founding team, consisting of McCue, Davis, Rod Brathwaite, Jim Fanning, Kyle Sims, Brad Porter, Michael Plitkins, Hadi Partovi, John Giannandrea, Andrew Volkmann, Anthony Accardi, Patrick McCormick, Danny Howard, Vicki Flores, and Emil Michael assembled in Mountain View, California.

In 2000, Tellme launched an internet platform that delivered content to telephones — a concept frequently called voice portals. Early competitors included TelSurf Networks, BeVocal, Hey Anita and, which was founded in 1999 and acquired in September, 2000 by America Online to power its competing service AOL By Phone. At least 10 additional competitors appeared in 2000 in various attempts to mimic the funding success of Tellme.[5]

Tellme was featured in the 2001 documentary Wild at Start.[6] and was referenced in a 2000 Malcolm Gladwell article about recruiting.[7]


Voice portal customers build Internet-powered, voice-enabled applications on the Tellme Network using Tellme Studio. Tellme Studio is a Web-based VoiceXML development tool. The Tellme platform is based on open standards like VoiceXML, CCXML, and VoIP. The Tellme Voice Portal can be accessed by calling (800) 555-8355. Tellme also hosts toll-free directory assistance.


Some of the services running on Tellme's network include directory assistance (4-1-1) for AT&T and Verizon (landline), customer service for Merrill Lynch, E*TRADE Financial and American Airlines, and e-commerce services for Fandango.[8]

See also


  1. Liedtke, Michael (March 1, 2008). "Tellme's Tale As Microsoft Subsidiary". Associated Press via Wired News. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  2. Tellme's Naughty Schoolboy - Business Week, March 13, 2006
  3. Microsoft Purchase Of Tellme Adds Voice To Web Initiative. Wall Street Journal. March 15, 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  4. Tellme and Cingular Plan Broader Directory Service - New York Times, October 9, 2006
  5. As Silicon Valley Reboots, the Geeks Take Charge - New York Times, October 26, 2003
  6. Dept. of "Oops" - After four years, heeere's "Wild at Start," a documentary celebrating visionary new-economy entrepreneurs! -, July 25, 2001
  7. The New-Boy Network -, May 29, 2000
  8. Tellme Press Release August 21, 2006
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