Good morning reddit, we are entrepreneurs and founders Chris Furlong and David Glickman. We are the current CPO and CEO of Ultra and Primo respectively. We've dedicated our careers to breaking down borders and making global communication easier for everyone, founding companies like and Ultra Mobile. Incredibly, David is the only person to rank #1 on Inc. Magazine’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America twice (for two separate companies).

Our latest venture, communications app Primo, aims to connect four billion people around the world for free, combining calls, text, video, and file-sharing all in one place. Oh yeah, and we're equity crowdfunding too.

Ask us about tech, startups, and how we are making communication to over 4 billion people free.

Ask us anything.



Comments: 125 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

rage_against_the_wan11 karma

Is there a reason why these "questions" are being asked by accounts created an hour ago?

primoconnectinc6 karma

David: Chris and I tweeted and messaged our contacts around that time. I suppose they were not prior users of reddit before we invited them to join in the AMA.

windwolfone1 karma

This scummy move & your "we're here to make a better world! " bullshit ensures I will remember & avoid your company.

primoconnectinc1 karma

The majority of the questioners have been on reddit for years.

tzz3 karma

I've been on Reddit for a while. I looked at the questions and the answers, upvoted what I thought was interesting, and didn't see the need to ask new questions. Perhaps others did likewise.

primoconnectinc2 karma

Thank you for the interest. Truly appreciated.

Boodystank1 karma

These MF'ers are pulling a prank on us! Damn them!

Thanks RATW for your diligence.

primoconnectinc2 karma

Agree, RATW your diligence is a bit suspect since the majority of questions come from experienced reddit users and of course reddit asked that we try to get new ones which we succeeded in doing. Being as harsh as you and your cursing colleagues are actually would dissuade people from joining Reddit. So, I am glad we got a few new folks to sign up and hope that your foul language doesn't turn them away.

toboR_a_toN_mI4 karma

What are your thoughts on communication via centralization versus decentralization/peer to peer communication?

primoconnectinc1 karma

Tough one. There are advantages to both. A network is about connecting nodes and you need some level of centralization to bring people together or to effectively route. Decentralization/P2P is great because it cuts out so many barriers and costs and just gets right to the heart of it.

In a way, we are using the legacy phone system and phone numbers as a way to get the benefits of a centralized network that exists offline and use it to bring people into the app where comms are P2P.

I'd love us to be in a world where messaging apps drop their walled gardens and we could have a truly decentralized network capable of talking with anyone. In the meantime, we'll do our best with Primo by bridging the mobile/fixed networks and the online world of apps. -Chris

trumpeter_face3 karma

Can you provide a more detailed revenue projection? That chart on the crowdfunding page is a joke.

primoconnectinc0 karma

David: We cannot provide more detail as it is the same one we are filing with the SEC. Not sure what you are referring to as the "joke." Our run-rate is more conservative than our competitors in their first five years.

iamseventwelve3 karma

I'm a user of ZipZap. It looks like you're just kind of a clone with fewer features, and more costs. Why should I switch to Primo?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: They only offer calls to the USA (population 318 million) and charge $10 for that. Primo offers 33 countries (population more than 4 billion) and the calls are free as long as you are referring more people. If you don't want to refer, we are launching $5 unlimited calling to all 4 billion phones in the near future.

plausabletruth3 karma

Though I would never participate in a crowd funding, why would I want to invest in your businesses?

primoconnectinc1 karma

You want to invest in our business because we've been out in the communications space doing this successfully for a decade together. David goes back 20 years in telco. We've been putting together a series of successful companies where each one has been a bigger opportunity than the last one. With Ultra we became the fastest privately growing company in the US. Primo is a company that's operating at a global level which gives us a huge space to play in.

The other reason is the category we are getting into, messaging apps. This space has some of the largest userbases in the world and are the most frequently used apps of all. You are getting an opportunity to be at the centerpoint of someone's life day in and day out. - Chris

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: Other Comms Apps sold for $10 - 20 billion and allowed users to talk to a few hundred million other users. Primo already allows users to talk to 4 billion people. So getting in at valuations 50 to 100 times lower would make for a fantastic opportunity if Primo does hit similar or greater valuations down the road.

Lepew13 karma

What is the best way to communicate with a Trump supporter? Reason and facts do not seem to work.

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: Why would you start with reason and facts for someone who supports a candidate who ignores all reason and most facts? Maybe start with classical conditioning.

Lepew12 karma

One hopes that given that almost all American voters should have at least gone through public high school, and that American public schools being the envy of the world that they are, should impart basic reasoning skills to graduates. So the underlying premise here is that our schools work and reasoning should work. Are you saying our public education system might have fallen short of that goal?

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: I am a product of public schools and a huge fan. I think America needs to invest much heavier in public schools. We should be attracting the very best to the teaching profession. Of course, there was a day when politics attracted the very best as well, not just the ones that play well on reality tv.

cricketahi2 karma

How do you see communication apps like Primo changing the future of communication?

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: Primo is the true telecom democratizer (is that a word?). This is the true power of communication. With Primo, anyone, anywhere, on any device can call anyone, anywhere, on any device. Even if one or both doesn't have internet or phone service. Now calling your brother in the Middle East or your Dad in America, is a convenient and cheap as if they were next door. How are we changing the world? By decreasing the psychological size of the planet.

primoconnectinc1 karma

We are in this weird in between time right now where you use your phone service to communicate half the time and you use apps to communicate half the time. Its because on one side, the phone system while easy isn't free and can only do so much. On the other side, messaging apps are walled gardens and you need data PLUS the other person to be online.

I see comm apps as augmenting and eventually replacing the phone system. They can do talk, they can do text, but they have so much more they can offer. For instance if you want to reach me on my mobile I need to have it with me, I need to be in a place with a good signal, and I need to be smart enough not to have killed my battery.

With a good comms app, I can just login to whatever device I have with me. My phone, my tablet, my computer. I can free myself from the device itself.

Also when you put messaging into the data channel, you can bring so many other services in there. Look texting is great, but when I can insert a youtube clip or a giphy or the weather right into the middle of a conversation, that's so much more powerful. We don't need to leave our chat to book dinner, it will be done right there as we chat. -Chris

marielshmariel2 karma

What is equity crowdfunding?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: equity crowd funding is allowing any individual to invest in your company. Prior to the SEC enacting a new ruling last year, called Regulation A+, you had to be an accredited investor. Now, you can invest as little $350 in a company that may be the next big thing.

YellowSev2 karma

You guys like the Angus burger? How do you take it?

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: Oh YEAH!!!! medium rare, please. Now, my question to you. Is a hamburger a sandwich? what about a hot dog? Hmmmmmm

Sarasmu2 karma

I developed several apps to solve issues I saw in Africa. Do you see Africa as a future market?

primoconnectinc2 karma

Africa is a huge future market for us. The thing about Africa is that comm networks are very young, so you have a lot of people coming straight onto 4G with their first mobile connection. The other thing about Africa is that its really really really expensive to call and could use some serious liberalization. Other than Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, the rest of the continent massively overcharges for international communication. Its a shame because that charge slows down development and holds their people back. So yes, we want to take Primo to Africa and to help make it easier and cheaper for them to stay in touch with the rest of the world. -Chris

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: Primo is a game changer for most people in Africa with a smart phone, even if they don't have it connected to the phone network. With just a bit of wifi, they can connect to, talk, video, message and file share with anyone in the entire world.

wholovesapps2 karma

What is your app game of choice? Are you an angry birds person or candy crush kinda guys?

primoconnectinc2 karma


but my kids are HUGE Angry Birds people. My son has their underwear, pajamas, and is the worst Angry Birds player in the world.


primoconnectinc2 karma

David: I find myself playing backgammon on my mobile more often than I care to admit. Anyone want to challenge me online???

Aherosxtrial2 karma

What do you see as the secret sauce to growing a company? Do you think equity crowdfunding really is a viable alternative to traditional financing?

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: there are so many secret sauces to growing a company. I myself play in the hyper-growth realm, taking companies from inception to hundreds of millions by year 2 or 3, so I keep the bar pretty high. For hyper-growth, I assemble a team of hyper-flexible executives who are willing to say yes to all viable opportunities, even if it means back-peddling, and changing direction at inopportune times. RE: Crowdfunding -- Yes, but only for companies that lend themselves to that. Ultra/Primo has a track record, phenomenal growth and millions of users. I think those make for a good CF candidate.

HoagieTheDog2 karma

You've been associated with hypergrowth. What does that actually mean?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: for me that means starting a company from scratch and getting it to a valuation/revenue of hundreds of millions in year 2 or 3. I have done that a few times and looking to do that and more with Primo.

wholovesapps2 karma

What are the video features like on Primo. Can I talk with multiple people at the same time?

primoconnectinc2 karma

Not yet, its a big feature that's very important to our roadmap. Look for it soon.

wholovesapps1 karma

Can we expect any other big features?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: We are deciding if we want to turn this into an OTT mobile provider in other countries. Anyone up for destroying ridiculous roaming rates???

lnm10312 karma

are you going to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction for ultra mobile? why is primo crowdfunding?

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: We are not network builders, we resell the excess capacity of the mobile network operators. Primo is crowdfunding because our mission and product appeal to a wide audience and we would love impassioned users and investors. Why not let our customers also reap the benefit of ownership?

sezzyneill2 karma

Hi David or Chris - WhatsApp sold for $19B and others are also in the billions in terms of valuations. Why do you think the valuation of communication apps are being valued so high?

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: Comms Apps are essentially the single most downloaded and used apps on both iOS and Play stores. This is how the world is communicating now and Primo is the first one to go beyond App-to-App and connect users to the entire world, and half of it, 4 billion people, for FREE.

Chtorrr2 karma

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.

primoconnectinc1 karma

I've got 6 fish, they are harlequin raspboras. We have not given them any names, and they live in a 12 gallon fluval edge freshwater tank. The great thing about them is that we've only lost one fish in the 18 months they've been with us. -Chris

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: I have 3 dogs, all of them rescues, albeit one is an over engineered, labradoodle hybrid. And a dozen chickens

BYasar2 karma

I am curious to know what will be the next step for Primo after the crowdfunding campaign? how will the funds be used?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: The more Primo grows, the more we will be investing in its infrastructure. Just a week after launching our Beta, we are getting about 10-100 times as many users as we had forecast. This is causing tremendous stress on our servers and infrastructure. We will be putting a lot of resources into upgrading and scaling.

thegreatgazoo2 karma

How do you handle product support for 4 billion people speaking 100s of different languages?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: Short Answer, have a very a good product. As we are keeping this as lean as possible, we are currently only supporting English at launch. We are looking into other ways of having product ambassadors in each country blog FAQs and the like.

ToothFilledMouth2 karma

What's been the biggest challenge in creating Primo?

primoconnectinc3 karma

Building Primo and now scaling it. We've done a lot of telecom over the years, but have never built the underlying network. Ultra for instance is an MVNO that rides on one of the big 4 carrier networks. Primo however required us to build the entire network out, and its a mixed network that bridges apps and the traditional phone network.

We've been using WebRTC for a lot of the P2P stuff, but then have some very unique challenges in getting that to interop with a SIP gateway and getting in and out of the regular phone network at scale. In a lot of ways, Primo is a bleeding edge network without a lot of tried and true patterns to fall back on.

We launched very soft and took the first month or so just tuning in a production environment, but then took the gloves off and have started seeing massive growth in some very very tough user conditions. A lot of our use cases involve people in closed markets (like the Gulf) using VPN networks to tunnel out and then connecting to someone on GSM mobile phone in another country. Its not a very vanilla use case and we've been facing some very unique challenges.

The good news is that its a great proving ground for us and once we get this thing really humming, we'll have a world class service. Its going to be great. -Chris

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: There are so many places we can go from here. After launching with a simple, very powerful tool, free communication from anyone to anyone, on any device, we have a list of so many enhancements, the tough part is prioritizing them. Everyone currently gets a free USA phone number, so the next question is, do we offer a full suite telecom services in other countries like Ultra offers in the USA. Can we decimate ridiculous roaming charges next? What about group conferencing, etc.? so many fun choices.

NeverEnufWTF2 karma

Would you ever create an online service just so you could call it Ultimo Online?

primoconnectinc3 karma

Perhaps, but why limit ourselves. Once you launch Ultimo, can you really come back with another service? Of course, there have been two ROCKY sequels in the last year, so never say never, or never say "Ultimo".

CaptainSomeGuy2 karma

Fellow communications fielder here: You seem to be pitching primarily on the notion of "It's a trillion dollar industry - if we only capture 10%...", which is highly unpopular with investors. It seems to me, the only truly great innovation left in this space is flexibilty. Specifcally, unifying multiple platforms agnostically. As in: Have bluejeans in CA and Skype in S. America? Cool we'll integrate with both.

without that, it seems like this is a race to the bottom commodity. What makes me wrong?

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: You are not wrong. It requires federation by all the players, which hasn't happened in the messaging space since AOL messenger was all the rage. Primo is poised for the federation revolution, whenever it comes.

Atticusfinchfur2 karma

Chris do you you know any of your family heritage?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: I don't know much about his heritage other than I assume someone in his family donated their surname to measuring horse races, but again that is pure speculation on my part. Chris did run track & field in school, maybe he was so good at the 220, they named it after him? :-)

forava72 karma

What are the big differences between indiegogo vs kickstarter? Which one is the better one to use?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: Neither offer crowd funded equity campaigns, so I can't really give you much advice. I have funded campaigns on both and find myself supporting Indiegogo campaigns about 3:1 over Kickstarter. My favorite purchase has been my sondors electric bikes.

1ele32 karma

Since you both work for a tech company and probably see new tech ideas all the time, what new technology are you really excited about?

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: CRISPR --Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats. This will change the world, and not necessarily for the better in all cases.

primoconnectinc3 karma

I'm jazzed about the block chain right now. A decentralized ledger system that provides indisputable proof of a transaction has some very big possibilities for the space we work in. If you are someone who lives in multiple countries, you have a very hard time establishing credit everytime you move to a new location. With block chain, you can use your transaction history from anywhere in the world to establish that you are who you say you are. To me that's huge. - Chris

brewis1 karma

What inspired you to develop an app like this?

primoconnectinc3 karma

David: I have always dreamt of a world where people can call anyone for free. Being a position to pioneer the solution is a dream come true.

primoconnectinc3 karma

I am going to steal from a post I made somewhere else:

Primo was an idea that came to me two summers ago. Two things were happening...first, we were trying to figure out how to get more free international calling into Ultra Mobile and second, we were watching messaging apps explode around the world.

With Ultra we've done a great job of making it easy to call from the US to half the world, but for the rest of the world a variety of factors keep markets expensive or closed. At the end of the day, the traditional phone network can only evolve so much and it cannot keep pace with what's happening over data.

Our mission has been to connect the world and bring people together. Free, fast, and easy. We've been on that journey for 10 years now. Every year new doors have opened, new people have joined with us, and we've mastered new technologies and networks.

We started Primo as a way to make it easier for Ultra subscribers to keep in touch with loved ones who live in expensive countries to call. We also wanted to share our mission with everyone who lives outside Ultra's mobile network in the USA. As we got deeper into development, we realized that there are even bigger opportunities here.

The future of communications is being able to reach anyone, anywhere, from any device for free. The last decade has started us down that road, but today we are in a place where communicating means a constant trade off between your phone number and your messaging app of choice. Both offer amazing advantages over the other, but each is very limited in what it can do.

Primo is going to change that. We are building the future of communications. One network that is capable of reaching anyone, anywhere, online or off. We'll be bringing the best of the phone system to the best of messaging apps and evolve communications once again.

Hope that answers that.


Thu-Mar-171 karma


primoconnectinc1 karma

David: At Primo, my compensation is below the average of the rest of the employees.

deadfreds1 karma

Hi David and Chris ! My front lawn has brown patches in it and i don't know what to do. I've tried reseeding but it didn't take very well. Any recommendations on how i can get my lawn looking nice and green all over again?

primoconnectinc2 karma

Talk to me about your sunlight situation. I need a bit more info to play lawn doc. -Chris

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: keep your chinchilla away from the lawn

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: OK, since today is all about being green, or at least wearing it, maybe tomorrow you can make a deal on left-over kegs of green beer from your local pub. the green dye should keep your lawn green and the beer should make it happy for at least a week.

Aherosxtrial2 karma

good answer.

primoconnectinc3 karma

Now, please drink responsibly tonight and don't puke on deadfred's lawn.

PreludesAndNocturnes1 karma

Quesion 1

Other communication platforms such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal supposedly go to great lengths to protect user privacy, whether it be with strong encryption, not collecting logs, warrant canaries, decentralization, open source code, etc.

To what lengths does Primo go to collect protect user privacy, and can you tell us a little bit about the company's philosophy regarding privacy?

If the FBI came knocking on your door tomorrow asking to see communications between 2 users, what would you do?

Question 2 What's one unsolved UX problem that you feel none of the communications apps have really cracked yet? How does Primo hope to tackle it?

primoconnectinc3 karma

Primo does not provide end to end encryption on all our communications, and its because a lot of Primo's features involve interopping with the POTS (public telephone system). We can originate calls over voice networks, we terminate calls to voice networks, we make and receive SMS messages. All of these things travel between our platform and the open public phone network.

Our app using encryption to communicate between the apps and the platform. We don't pass info out in the clear. P2P communication is largely but not entirely done using WebRTC where we step out of the way once the browsers or apps negotiate between themselves.

We are concerned with access and protecting people's abilities to communicate freely. Privacy is important to us and we do our best to protect it. If the FBI comes knocking they'll need a warrant to see communication between two users and we'll show them what we have. Some text communications are on our servers and could be retrieved, but we are mostly a talk company and other than call records, there is nothing else retrievable there.

So at the end of the day, yes privacy is important and we encrypt what we should but Primo is not an end to end encryption app on a closed private network its about being able to reach the world. -Chris

dahamsta1 karma

Hi, I'm the CEO of my company but I don't feel my acronym is pretentious enough, can you recommend something more syrnergystic?

primoconnectinc6 karma

Try "Trump" that names appears to embody pretension.

afeldman271 karma

When you say free calling to 4 billion people what does that really mean?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David: Free is Free. Download the App, and instantly you have free minutes to call China, Mexico,USA, Canada, Europe, Brasil, 35 countries totalling 4 billion people. As you add a photo, invite a friend you get more more credits. In about 3 minutes, you will have credits for 500 minutes of free calling. Then weekly/monthly we will continue to reward you with free minutes.

primoconnectinc2 karma

It means this...when you sign up for Primo, we give you minutes that can be used to call 35 countries for free. Those 35 countries have a population over 4 billion people. China, India, US, Mexico, and Brazil are a huge chunk of that. If you keep using the service we'll give you free minutes on your monthly anniversary as well as a way of saying thanks for being there.

courtiebabe4201 karma

How did you each get your start in the telecom industry and what inspired you to try to do something different with telecom?

primoconnectinc2 karma

David actually gave me my start in the telecom industry. Before that I had been working in consumer internet, a bit of banking, and marine biology. I don't think I knew any better than to be different because telecom wasn't something familiar to me. The nice thing about having your own companies is that you don't need to behave the way your boss or the industry expects of you. You can do things in a way that makes sense to you. -Chris

primoconnectinc1 karma

DAVID: I started working at American Express in Argentina in the 1990's and discovered a way a export USA dial-tone and make calls at USA rates instead of Argentine monopoly rates and saved about 80%. I then decided to offer that service worldwide to everyone living outside the USA who wanted to make international calls at USA rates. That led to my first telecom start-up, Justice Technology, and our first time being #1 on the INC. 500 list.

Aherosxtrial1 karma

That's great - because I'm sure the temptation would have been to just hold onto that loophole so no one tried to close it.

primoconnectinc2 karma

david: we, and the competitors that followed, actually caused the monopolies to lower their prices. Then the internet and skype got those rates even lower. Now, Primo makes it free. This is a wonderful world we live in.

phoenixjj1 karma

Who is your favorite Metal band(s)?

primoconnectinc3 karma

Sorry I am not much of a metal guy. The closest I can get are to some of the louder alt bands from the 80s like the Pixies or Jane's. Love me some of that. - Chris

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: Janes addiction? yes. I like David Lee Roth

coco_norte1 karma

Who do you most admire and why?

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: I am partial to the Entrepreneur, who wakes up each morning not knowing if she is going to make a fortune or miss a mortgage payment. My most admired entrepreneur is my father, who left a big company and hung a shingle the very day I was born. Miss you, Dad.

yohowriterslifeforme1 karma

What features does Primo have right now?

primoconnectinc2 karma

Its got a lot going on. I like to think of Primo as free universal communication where you are taking the best of the mobile phone system and merging that with the best of messaging apps.

On the phone side you get a US phone number in your app that can:

  • Get unlimited inbound calls and texts for free from anyone to your app
  • Make phone calls to anywhere in the world. We give you free minutes to call 4 billion people
  • Send text messages to anywhere in the world

On the app side, you can use peer to peer with user Primo users to:

  • Talk
  • Message
  • Video chat
  • File share

Plus you can search for an add other Primo users to your contacts. - Chris

1ele31 karma

What are some of your favorite apps? Besides Primo, of course ;)

primoconnectinc1 karma

Spotify, Slack, Lyft -Chris

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: WhatsApp and Skype. These apps are sensational and groundbreaking. We are standing on the shoulders of Giants and taking the free calling experience to everyone on the planet, instantly. Thank you for getting us so close to completely free communication.

Juwarr1 karma

How did you come up with Primo? Did you think/recognize that the other free apps such as Viber, Skype, etc were missing something?

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: Yes, they were missing the ability to call anyone, anywhere for free. Most of them are just App-to-App and we realized, that being a leader in international telecom for 20 years, we knew we could take the wonder of WhatsApp to a whole new level by allowing anyone with a phone number to be included in the offering. We are connecting the whole world, for free. That is what was missing.

whysofly1 karma

What is your advice for an entrepreneur that is looking to enter into the telecommunication market?

primoconnectinc1 karma

David: Telecom is exciting, but at the same getting rather commoditized. Be sure you have a value-add that is truly unique and not easily replicable by your competitors. We are in a consolidating world as well and Metcalf's law is heavily in play, so you have to go for scale right out of the gate.

sezzyneill-1 karma

Last year your company Ultra won the Inc.500. What did that mean for your company to score the title 'fastest growing company in American'?

primoconnectinc1 karma

DAVID: Of course it is a wonderful honor. We didn't start the company to try to win that award, but the award acknowledges that we created a product that millions of people wanted. It allows us to take a pause and reflect on what can be accomplished when you have an incredible team of motivated employees focused on a common goal and obsessed with great customer experience.