Career development / Investing / Startups

Contap raises $600,000 to kill the business card

“This app is excellent for Center City Sips,” said Contap founder Jason Craparo.

Networking at Super Meetup 2017. (Video by Roberto Torres)
Update: Contap secured additional capital, according to founder Jason Craparo. The company's seed round is now closed at $850,000. (6/11/18, 12:49 p.m.)

Jason Craparo, founder of Contap Social, says his company built the perfect app for Center City Sips.

“It’s a great way to connect with the people who are around you,” Craparo, 34, said of his company’s mobile app, which looks to replace biz card swapping as a way to share contact information with others on the digital realm.

With its headquarters in Philadelphia and its staff of four full-timers split between Philly, New York and Chicago, the company said Thursday it has closed a $600,000 $850,000 seed round from a group of individual investors. To date, the company has brought on $900,000 $1.15 million in capital.

“We used part of the round to do a brand refresh and update,” said Craparo. The app will also get an upgrade from a user experience and user interface standpoint, but the bulk of the the funds will be used to launch new partnerships, Craparo said, like the deal it struck with networking group Network After Work to roll out the app at events in 80 cities across the U.S.

“It’s thousands of events per year,” Craparo said. “We’re going to make sure that partnership is launched successfully and then working to scale that.”

Contap, founded in 2014, operates under a freemium model, where users have access to the contact sharing platform for free, with extra features available for $9.99 a month. In both versions, they can select which data points to share with other people: from just an email to social media profiles and download links for files.

“The premium version of the app integrates with the top CRM [Customer Relationship Management] tools,” the CEO said. “We’ll be integrated with 80 CRMs by year’s end. It allows you with one tap to send all of the information somebody shares with you to your CRM, has note-taking capabilities, or introduce two different contacts.”

Though Contap isn’t going after one industry specifically, the app sounds like it would make sense for recruiters. The company’s working on an integration for contact information to go straight to Bullhorn — a CRM often used by recruiters — as part of the premium version.

“We’re trying to make a dent in the socially active urban millennials demographic,” Craparo said. “In terms of industry, we’re not focusing on just one.”

And what about privacy? In the age of data leaks and privacy scandals like Facebook’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica, why should users plug their contact info into yet another app?

“One of the things that we’ve said since we started, before all these scandals had come out, is that any way we decided to monetize this we’d never compromise user’s data to make money or stretch our focus,” Craparo said. “We adhere to industry standards for saving and housing the data. It’s always about giving value to people on our platform.”

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