Startup Spotlight – Blinq
A new spin on an old idea? Good timing?
When first looking at the funding this company has managed to raise, I was impressed. There’s been a number of companies attempt to build a new business card app but nothing has really stuck around and been worthwhile replacing the built-in phone functionality.
Is Blinq different?
Their initial funding round suggests they might be. The last time Blackbird Ventures and Square Peg Venture Capital Ltd. funded a Seed Round, the result was Canva.
Blinq allows users to share their live personal information with anyone via QR codes, near-field communications, short links, email signatures, and video call backgrounds, rather than business cards. It keeps information up to date, so users don’t need to tell their contacts when they change phone numbers or email addresses.
Anyone can instantly share their details via custom digital card that they can update any time. If you prefer the physical world a custom card will bring up your contacts with a quick tap via NFC.
Replacing business cards is just the beginning. The core of Blinq’s idea is that it is a live-updating identity layer that can be used anywhere – from business cards, to email signatures, zoom backgrounds or as a link in bio.
Jarrod Webb is a business-obsessed software engineer. He was one of the first employees at Uber Eats in Australia and chose to work on the strategy team because he was fascinated with operational problems. He’s a rare combination of creativity, resilience, vision and detail orientation. He invented some of the core functionality for Blinq years ago as a side project only to see it start to explode in usage as the general population learned how to use QR codes during the pandemic.
In January 2021, Webb left Uber Eats to catch this tailwind and accelerate growth in users and businesses for Blinq in the post-COVID era.
“Blinq is one of the fastest-growing platforms we’ve seen in recent years. Just as Twitter and Airbnb took off at events such as South by Southwest, it’s exciting to see Blinq do the same this year,” Blackbird partner Rick Baker said.
Currently Blinq offers premium accounts for both businesses and individuals. The user base is currently split 50/50 between individuals and businesses, but Webb believes that businesses will be the larger group over the long term.
Business Model and Pricing
The company offers two types of service. The first is for individuals who wish to create their digital business ID and share it with anyone and everywhere they go. The second service they offer is for a business that wish to create a digital business ID containing the company’s necessary information.
With these services, you can always keep up-to-date information, empower the identity that allows you to share your professionalism, and seamlessly combine necessary business contacts and relationships.
The company has three types of pricing depending on which service you purchase:
- For the individual, it’s $0 to create two different IDs accessible to any device.
- For Individuals, after the 7-day free trial, a $2.99 monthly subscription is offered if you want to create five different business IDs, add custom designs and colours, and remove the Blinq mark.
- For business, you can create unlimited cards, view contacts of people who visit your ID, access, and authority for editing, and 24/7 help support from the website. This can be accessed after the 30-day free trial for a $2.99 monthly subscription.
“Because we charge per user, we have negative net revenue churn. So you can do a bunch of really nice growth things to fuel the expansion of the product.” – Jarrod Webb
Negative net revenue churn is when the amount of new revenue from your existing customers is greater than the revenue lost from cancellations and downgrades.
When you share a digital business card using Blinq the person you’re sharing with doesn’t need the app to see it.
“It means almost everyone refers the product, and the use of the product is a referral,” Webb said.
Investors and Funding
- May 16, 2022 – Seed Round – Blackbird Ventures, Square Peg Capital – $5M
Blackbird Ventures founders are Rick Baker and Niki Scevak. The group also includes 🐘 Nick Crocker,Joel Connolly, and Samantha Wong, who serve as the venture team behind the company.
The company was founded in 2012 and has made 204 investments, 7 diversity investments, and 69 lead investments.
Square Peg capital was founded by Tony Halt in 2012, the company has made 119 investments, 4 diversity investments, and 58 lead investments helping many companies to strive in their field.
The Future for Blinq
Blinq’s end-game is not just digital business cards. Webb’s vision is for Blinq to be a digital identity that can exist in multiple places — think contact apps on phones, email signatures, customer relationship management software. When a user updates their details on Blinq, the updates will happen in all those other places too.
The $5 million investment will be used to grow Blinq’s 12-strong team to closer to 30 and attempt to realise that vision.
While this company is still relatively young, it’s exciting to see its growth and the calibre of investors backing the product.
I hadn’t heard about this product until seeing job ads for developers but time will tell as to whether there is enough adoption of the app for it to become more mainstream.
Congrats to Jarrod Webb for innovation and making Blinq a reality. So far so good.