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|Industry||Mobile application development|
|Headquarters||Austin, Texas, U.S|
Bill Moore, CEO|
Alexey Gavrilov, CTO
Number of employees
Zello is an application startup located in Austin, Texas, behind the creation of Zello applications. The applications emulate push-to-talk (PTT) walkie-talkies over cell phone networks. The apps are available for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Windows PC, rugged mobile devices and two-way radios. Zello is free while the ZelloWork application is free for 30 days.
Alexey Gavrilov developed the product originally called Loudtalks which was announced at the TechCrunch 40 Mobile and Communications Conference on September 17, 2007. Zello acquired the Loudtalks technology, rebranded, moved the development team to Austin, added apps and announced June 20, 2012. Bill Moore is the CEO and Gavrilov is CTO. Moore founded and was CEO of TuneIn where Gavrilov and his team created popular TuneIn applications.
Zello simulates traditional two-way radios, offering additional features such as history, replay last message, notifications and Bluetooth device support. It works over 2G, 4G, 3G and GPRS/EDGE networks. Zello is "a direct messaging service that allows members to communicate freely either privately with individuals or over open channels that can support hundreds of thousands of users," said U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. It allows people to use cell phones and computers all around the world like walkie-talkies.
Zello users can create channels and give control to other Zello users to become moderators. New York Times' technology columnist David Pogue describes Zello's channels, "Like most of the best applications, Zello lets you create groups so that you can carry on something like a party-line phone call among a handful—or hundreds—of friends or collaborators."
Once a channel is created, channels can appear on the "Trending" list and creators can assign additional moderators to keep their created channels safe. Though available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry, Zello can also be accessed from a Windows PC computer with the Zello for Windows PC.
Zello made the news in June 2013 when Turkish protesters used it to circumvent government censors. As a result, Zello was the top most downloaded application in Turkey during the first week of June 2013.
In February 2014, it was blocked by CANTV in Venezuela. Zello issued workarounds and patches to overcome the blocks to support approximately 600,000 Venezuelans who have downloaded the application to communicate with each other amidst protests. It "has been one of the most downloaded applications in Ukraine and Venezuela."
In July 2017, in Latvia, Zello was the main application which was used by thousands of volunteers and rescuers for communication purposes while looking for Ivans Berladins who went missing.
In August 2017 during relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Zello became a popular method for communications between volunteer rescuers and people stranded by the widespread flooding.  The app received over 6 million signups in one week as Florida residents prepared for Hurricane Irma.
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The app is also used by terror organizations around the world when giving orders about terror attacks. This is due to the fact that it's very difficult to decode and trace these messages. Rakhmat Akilov used it during the Stockholm attack the 7th of April 2017 when five people were killed and around 150 directly or indirectly hurt, physically or psychologically. Zello was also used by Salman Abedi who killed 22 people during a concert with the artist Ariana Grande in Manchester the 22nd of May 2017. The utilisation of this app among terror groups is described in the book "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror" from 2015 written by the security experts Hassan Hassan and Michael Weiss.
- Zello Crunchbase Profile. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
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- (February 21, 2014)."In Venezuela, The Internet Becomes A Crucial Battleground." NBC News. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
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- Arthur, C. (June 4, 2013)."Turkish protesters using encryption software to evade censors." The Guardian. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- (June 2, 2013).Zello Walkie Talkie Daily Ranks. App Annie. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Zhang, S. (February 25, 2014)."The Mobile App Driving Venezuela's Anti-Government Protests." Gizmodo. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Burke, S. (February 24, 2014.) "Protesters in Venezuela, Ukraine turn to peer-to-peer messaging app." CNN. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- On Roads Turned Waterways, Volunteers Improvise to Save the Trapped and Desperate, Manny Fernandez, New York Times, August 29, 2017
- Hartman, H. (September 7, 2017) "I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy." Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Bhuiyan, Johana (September 10, 2017). "This walkie talkie app got six million new users in one week as Florida prepared for Hurricane Irma". Recode. Retrieved 11 October 2017.