Lars Sager, Co-Founder & Managing Director of contactify, talks to us about the digital business card, its benefits, and the collaboration with LEXR regarding the employee stock option plan.
My brother and I founded contactify together in 2020, and our team consists mainly of ETH and HSG students. We come from a family of papeterists, and through that, we saw that efficiency in contact data exchange with classic business cards is no longer a given. You lose the information, maybe you forget to bring the card with you, information is not processed, contacts don’t end up in the CRM. Because of these problems, we looked at how modern contact management could work and developed a digital alternative for contact data.
On the one hand, the problem is that contact data is lost, which means potential leads are lost and sales potential. That is the main problem, which no longer happens with contactify. The other point is more of a marketing aspect: If you want all employees to present a consistent image to the outside world and thus also have a certain brand consistency, you can ensure this with a digital business card.
Yes, exactly, the business card is currently the main product. It is constantly being developed, and we currently sell it mainly to large companies with 500 or more employees.
A digital business card is efficient in terms of exchange, and it is sustainable in terms of paper waste, on the other hand, it is sustainable in terms of data, so it is linked to another person – the contact details are stored immediately. So you can be sure that your own data will never get lost in the flood of previous paper business cards. Finally, it is also an advantage for the branding and positioning of a company if you can present yourself as an innovative company through such modern tools. Internally, the company’s own employees come into contact with it and thus perceive the company differently from day one – instead of receiving a stack of business cards, a digital card with all the information is available. Externally, of course, customers also come into contact with it. Another advantage is that the card can also be shared virtually, for example during or after an online meeting, whereas the usual business card is really only suitable for passing on physically.
With the QR code in Apple Wallet and Google Wallet, that’s actually the main use case. We also have a use case where, for example, you can put your credit card on your phone and then the digital business card pops up – it’s also useful when you meet the person in person. One use case of a customer, for example, was the integration into the e-mail signature, another was the integration via the website profile pictures in order to be able to access the contact data immediately – there are various use cases.
The product also integrates well with existing CRM systems. So there is no need to maintain an additional product. The big companies can’t maintain a third party system either and therefore the companies expect this integration, it has to be given.
Absolutely. It’s all about scaling the product now. We are constantly developing the digital business card to solve additional pain points for our customers. You can also see other use cases where you can personalize the digital business card, which is then tailored to fit the person’s role. One goal is also to incorporate artificial intelligence into the development.
There are two main points. One is certainly that we want to retain our employees and that we want to give them the opportunity to participate in the success of the company. When the company is doing well, the employees also benefit. Through an employee stock ownership plan, they then also feel even more involved and a part of the company. Especially in an early-stage startup like contactify, commitment and identification with the company are very important points that can be strengthened with such a plan.
The second aspect is in a way a compensation in terms of the salary component, which in a young startup might not be as good as elsewhere in the market.
I already knew Michele privately, so I was well aware of his expertise before that. At Start Summit, I then got to know the team and the people came across as very competent to me right from the start. Michele was super trustworthy and in terms of service everything was 1A. “Pragmatic” I also find another important keyword to mention. In my opinion, this is also what distinguishes LEXR from others – that they are looking for a fast and direct approach.
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