July 1, 2019
More than 25 years since the revolutionary Palm Pilot allowed us to send our contact info to one another, there still isn’t a great replacement for the old-fashioned paper business card.
Originally, the app was a mobile business card transcription service that captured business cards and created digital contacts in a user’s phonebook. But the service faded into obscurity.
Now, venture capitalist Manu Kumar—who started the company along with Bowei Gai and Sid Viswanathan—is giving the app another try. His company, San Francisco-based HiHello, which he founded in January 2018 along with Hari Ravi, is essentially using a similar approach: human-verified scanning of digital business cards by anyone with a smartphone.
According to Axios, the free HiHello app, which is available for iOS and Android, will offer users five free business scan cards per month; while paid options, ranging from $5 to $20 per month, will provide even more scans.
History lesson: Axios notes that there was an app, Bump, that let cell phones physically touch to share info, but Google bought it in 2013 and it faded into in obscurity. CardMunch also dealt with it, but it was acquired by LinkedIn, neglected and eventually handed off to Evernote.
Research contact: @axios