Shapr Raises $three Million For Its Enterprise Networking Cellular App
A New York and Paris-based mostly startup referred to as Shapr has raised $three million to construct a greater strategy to professionally community with others in your business. Nevertheless, in contrast to enterprise networking big LinkedIn, Shapr’s software program is cellular-first, with apps for each iOS and Android units that permit customers to pick a subset of their contacts who they actually know and endorse, after which share these contacts with others of their community.
The corporate was based in mid-2014 by Ludovic Huraux, who beforehand based a French courting website referred to as Engaging World, and earlier labored in personal fairness, together with Zane Groshelle, whose advertising background noticed him working at startups like Songza and Prezi again within the day.
Says Huraux, the thought for Shapr got here to him early final yr as a result of, as an entrepreneur, he beloved to get related with different individuals. “I used to be annoyed as a result of now, [getting connected with others] could be very random,” he says. In the meantime, on LinkedIn, customers are sometimes related to quite a lot of individuals, a few of whom they don’t know that nicely or haven’t stored up with in years, making it harder for on-line introductions to work in addition to people who happen in the actual world.
Nevertheless, the founders stress, they don’t see Shapr as an alternative choice to LinkedIn, however slightly a complement to it. The truth is, the app is at present constructed atop LinkedIn’s platform – which might find yourself being a dangerous guess as LinkedIn traditionally has been extra restrictive with regard to its API insurance policies, negatively impacting the potential improvements that would emerge from the developer ecosystem.
How It Works
In the present day, the Shapr app lets you choose as much as 50 individuals you understand and belief properly sufficient to share your community with (your “Inside Circle”), they usually then obtain entry to your connections. To imitate the serendipity of offline introductions, Shapr gives 5 day by day introductions per day. Customers view these 5 matches and may swipe left or proper to reject or settle for these connections by way of the app, just like one thing like Tinder. As soon as each events settle for a match, they’re related and capable of chat.
One other function referred to as the “Shapeline” gives a extra public, collaborative feed the place customers can supply recommendation, share alternatives, and additional construct their relationships.
The corporate competes in an area the place quite a lot of earlier skilled networking apps have already tried to seek out new methods of creating networking simpler on cellular, both utilizing proximity or shared pursuits as a leaping off level. Many of those startups, together with Intro, ntro, Holler, Mingle and others, have since failed.
The issue with many of those apps is that these connections you actually need to make – like connections to buyers, for example – aren’t typically out there utilizing apps like these.
Buyers, or anybody else with a excessive standing or public profile, generally, are already coping with an overabundance of connection requests by way of different channels, and aren’t trying to improve that inbound movement. So you find yourself networking with lots of people in the identical boat as you – these in want of higher connections, not those that have them to supply.
Groshelle acknowledges this problem, saying “individuals who have already got an enormous rolodex are perhaps much less motivated to make use of the service, however we nonetheless assume it could possibly be very invaluable. We all know lots of people with nice networks who nonetheless have to maintain assembly new individuals,” he provides.
Shapr is a group of thirteen full-time based mostly in each Paris and New York. The $three million in seed funding comes from personal buyers, primarily in Europe, together with Frédéric Mazzella, founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar.