Three Shipt alumni are rethinking the way we network.
Linq, a networking tech startup hailing from Birmingham, just closed a $2.5 million seed round to grow its QR and “near field communication” (NFC) platform.
The round was led by Mucker Capital with participation from Alabama Futures Fund and Shipt founder Bill Smith.
The idea was born after the three looked for ways to improve the traditional networking game. The first iteration was a digital business card that lived in an Apple Wallet or Android Wallet.
While other digital business card companies were already out there, they mainly worked only if the receiving person already had a specific app downloaded.
Linq customers can use electronic business cards, hubs, taps, and wearables such as bracelets and bands for Apple Watch, which connect to a customizable and sharable profile page.
To date, the team has customers on five continents. “We’re really excited about the diverse range of customers from sales professionals to creatives to business owners,” added Potter.
The seed round will be used to grow the team and add new products to Linq’s growing portfolio.
NETWORKING IN A POST-COVID WORLD
The team told Hypepotamus they raised a small amount of funding in April of 2020, just as traditional networking events came to a halt.
Now they are focused on making networking safer and more sustainable in the post-COVID world.
“Paper was not only a hassle, but now it’s kind of a safety issue because you’re passing things around physically,” added Potter.
The team has been focusing on its enterprise solution, where a company can manage all team member’s Linq pages and eliminate the need to reprint cards with each new employee.
And unlike the traditional stack of business cards, Linq brings analytics and insight into the networking process and integrates with a company’s CRM platform immediately.
“Human connection is essential,” said Omar Hamoui, partner at Mucker Capital, added in a statement. “The future will require more robust technologies to bridge the gap between in-person and online networking and relationship building. We believe Linq’s innovative product suite is uniquely positioned to capture this growing market opportunity.”
“This investment couldn’t come at a better time, as we are poised for more breakout growth as the world reopens,” Potter added. “The pandemic accelerated demand for smart, contactless engagement capabilities like ours, and we don’t see that ever going away.”