Exchanging business cards at networking events, official business meetings, etc., looks professional. The small rectangular card holds our work details, phone numbers, email addresses, and more.
But what if this physical card is changed to a digital one and has all your social profiles besides the usual details?
Dhruv Jolly wanted to change this traditional means of presenting oneself in a professional context.
In 2022, Jolly launched—a one-stop networking platform—enabling users to share their personal and professional information with a single tap.
“With this new-age technology, you can convert any new network you meet and grow your business. TapOnn is made for modern networking and professional hustlers, who understand the importance of networking to build their businesses,” says the founder and managing director of TapOnn.
The Indore-based startup works on near-field communication (NFC) technology, which allows devices to communicate with one another when in proximity.
Before launching, the startup did a beta test with 300 users across India.
TapOnn products include smart cards, smart coins, and smart sockets based on a smart chip mechanism that facilitates the transmission of user data to a phone with NFC capabilities.
The products allow individuals and businesses to easily share and exchange contact information, digital content, and brand portfolios, including business details, brochures, coupons, and more. Further, users can use smart coins and sockets for similar functionalities, which can be put on phone cases, laptops, or tablets.
All these products are backed by an app, where users can access their networking data on one central platform. Upon creating a profile on the app, they can select social profiles and other information they want to share.
If the recipient’s phone doesn’t have NFC, the sender can share the recipient a link or QR code that opens on the browser, and they do not require to download the app.
Users can also change, remove, add, or update their information and even choose what to share and with whom.
“We do not limit our users with any information and give them access to any information they want—from social accounts, documents, websites, to PDF, literally everything,” says Jolly.
Keep track of connections
TapOnn provides a scanner to scan paper visiting cards, analytics and insights on the connections, and allows for multiple profile creation. At present, it operates a direct-to-customer (D2C) model. However, it is only limited to selling its smart products.
The analytics help tracks the number of connections made and where they were made, besides the most used or tapped platform.
The startup claims its products can be used for a lifetime with proper care. It comes with a two-year warranty and a replacement guarantee, if any damage or malfunction is discovered.
TapOnn uses an omnichannel approach to provide a seamless experience across channels, including in-store, mobile, and online. It derives sales from online ecommerce websites, marketplaces, offline stores, retail outlets, and exhibitions, where it lists its products—cards, smart coins, and sockets.
It is in the process of registering on different marketplaces and is looking to partner with offline brands to set up kiosks in the stores.
“We are planning to establish an ecosystem where companies can manage all employee smart cards through a single dashboard, granting access to all connections and data,” says Jolly.
The dashboard for employee smart cards, managed by an admin, can manage all employee details and profiles. Also, through multiple integrations, it can provide connection data and locations of the people their employees are meeting and getting connected with.
It will also help the admin to keep a regular track of the team’s work.
TapOnn will also integrate its API within any company’s CRM and automation software, making it easier for employees to schedule events and meetings, update contact details, and automate their marketing. Its tech stack includes Flutter, Angular, and Node JS.
“Integrating different CRM and ERP will enable our users to automate their funnel straight from the point where any connection is made,” Jolly adds.
For instance, if a user uses Hubspot for emails and WhatsApp for marketing, upon these integrations, they can directly send the details to their CRM dashboard from the app once the connection is made.
The startup targets to reach 10,000 customers, or 2,500 orders per month, in the coming six months. Post that, it will launch a business-to-business (B2B) and a subscription-based model.
The numbers game
At present, it has around 1,000 users on the app and has 150-200 users as its daily active user base. Jolly adds, “We are seeing an increase in demand every month. Our growth rate can be at 200%, but that’s not accurate as we are just starting.”
It charges a one-time fee that ranges between Rs 1250 and Rs 1750 for smart cards, and between Rs 999 and Rs 1,499 for smart sockets. It allows for customisation depending on the user’s needs and can cost up to Rs 5,000.
TapOnn generated revenue of Rs 94,980 in November, Rs 2.16 lakh in December, and Rs 4.5 lakh in January. It is eyeing Rs 25 lakh per month in revenue in the next six months.
The startup claims to have registered 100X growth in three months. Currently, it sees orders placed directly through the startup’s website.
According to Fortune Business Insight, the global network as a service market is projected to grow from $11.64 billion in 2022 to $80.73 billion in 2029 at a CAGR of 31.9% during 2022–2029.
The startup raised $150,000 in angel funding from Linda Ye of Wita Inc., New York, US, to improve its technology, increase marketing, and develop more products.
TapOnn competes with Popl, V1CE, TapNi, TapIt, and Scube.
It aims to develop a community and make users brand ambassadors, where they can help the startup reach more users from their circle.
“We will be bringing the affiliate programme into action, where our users can join and be our ambassadors. Upon joining, they will receive a unique link and discounts (from 10–20%) for their referral codes, which will be tracked,” Jolly asserts.
“We are also in talks with other manufacturers about exploring synergies on how we can bring more smart products to market,” he adds.
Edited by Suman Singh