Blackbird and Square Peg investors in digital business card startup Blinq’s $5 million raise

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Blinq founder Jarrod Webb. Source: supplied.

If you’re sitting at your desk right now, there’s a good chance somewhere there’s a stack of unused business cards.

Maybe they’re from an old job, or your title and contact details have changed, or perhaps the company you work for went through a rebrand.

Regardless of the reason, they’re a waste of money. 

Australian founded startup Blinq has raised $5 million from Blackbird and Square Peg Capital which founder Jarrod Webb hopes will help you throw away those paper business cards for good. 

Blinq lets users share digital business cards, what it calls a snapshot of your professional identity, quickly and easily with others, using the app and an NFC card, short link, email signature, video call background, or QR Code.

It’s certainly not the first startup to try and rid the world of physical business cards. What Blinq has done over the past three years, according to Webb, is capitalise on a moment. Webb was working as an engineer at Uber Eats in 2017 when he founded Blinq. He built the product shortly after it became possible for QR codes to be scanned natively, using an iOS device.

Two years later, Android followed suit, and of course not long after that the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and with it contact tracing apps. All of a sudden entire populations of people were using QR codes multiple times a day.

“There were a bunch of tech developments that happened, as well as the pandemic, and as a result Blinq skyrocketed,” Webb said of the app’s userbase growth.

“It had real product-market fit, in a really viral, organic way. I started working on it full-time in 2021 and we had massive growth in that year.” 

Viral growth

Blinq is the first startup since Canva where Blackbird and Square Peg Capital have co-invested in a seed round. It’s Blinq’s virality and the ramifications that has for monetisation that interests them.

Currently Blinq offers premium accounts for both businesses and individuals for $2.99 per month. 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.

“The exciting thing is the business model itself enables this growth. It’s organic bottom up SAAS (software-as-a-service),” Webb said.

“Individuals will try the product and get their businesses excited. Their managers will start to use them, then teams, then the wider business.

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Blinq let’s users share digital business cards using using the app and an NFC card, short link, email signature, video call background, or QR Code. Source: supplied.

“The point that I realised this could be a good business was when businesses started reaching out to me and asking to come on board.

“And because we charge per user, we also have other cool stuff like negative net revenue churn. So you can do a bunch of really nice growth things to fuel the expansion of the product.”

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 a referral,” Webb said.

“Keeping it simple”

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.

“We’re very much a product company, so that means we need to build a great product. All the revenue and funding is going to be invested into building the best product we can for our users,” he said.

“I think it’s very hard to make a simple product. It’s very hard to make an intuitive product. And what we’re trying to do is build a really simple way for our users to achieve their goal, which is to share information with people.

“Keeping it simple and keeping it really focused is going to be how we build the best product we can.”

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