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Ditch the Business Card: Startup Finding Success With Digital Alternative

  • Startup company Popl gaining traction with business card alternative
  • Smartphone app combined with physical accessory to allow quick, contactless exchange of information
  • Company has generated 700,000 sales totaling $2.7 million since launch

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Companies and individuals have been adopting more paperless trends for many years now, but the business card has remained a networking mainstay. This traditional method has long offered a reliable way to exchange basic information about a company and your role in it, and has endured several would-be digital disruptors.

But a startup company has generated robust sales with an alternative that combines smartphone technology with a physical accessory such as a sticker, keychain, or wristband. Popl has sold 700,000 units and generated $2.7 million in sales, according to a TechCrunch profile.

Popl uses near-field communication to allow a person to easily convey information to another device a short distance away. Users can create a profile of information to share and easily take actions such as connecting on LinkedIn. Others do not need an accessory or the Popl app to receive the information.

The company says the technology sidesteps common hassles with business cards, such as commonly forgetting them or others needing to take the time to input your information into their phone. It also offers a contactless option, which has become a more important consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TechCrunch profile also notes how Popl has been active on social media, particularly channels that cater to younger users such as TikTok and Instagram.

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