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Mia Contacts takes another photo in a smart contact application with $ 3M funding

Publisher's rating: After publication, a reader pointed out on Twitter that Contacts mia will send a text message to your contacts on your behalf when tagging a contact. CEO Amit Kumar said on Twitter that it is an attempt to stem the abuse. The complete original story follows below.

The idea of ​​sorting out your contacts and discovering some really useful ones has always been a nightmare. It is distributed across multiple platforms, and each has its own use case: LinkedIn might be the best way to get an introduction to a business, while NextDoor would help you find a new plumber.

But there is a good chance that you will not be in touch with the right person from your alma mater who could make this warm introduction, and a recommendation for a plumber is probably always better from one of your friends . So there's a new startup called Trimian, backed by Spark Capital and including another list of investors we'll have at the bottom of the publication, with an app called Contacts Mia that raised $ 3 million to create a smart contact app finds just how to get to the right person you need to contact.

"What we initially thought was a network," said CEO Amit Kumar. "It's still another version, it's a graph – people are connected – why not consider it as the next Facebook." But the more we talked to people about it, it was turned out that it was not something that people wanted.I already have networks, so we pulled out and said, "Is that what we are looking for? Is it the idea that people have to join another network? "»

That's why Kumar calls mia Contacts more of a utility than a social network. When you start the app, Contacts mia will take your contacts and then start to divide them into categories like your university, your previous jobs, or other categories like cities. Over time, these categories will become more and more specific depending on how you mark your contacts, as well as how other people with the same contacts mark them. This is a game designed to be a game, with the tagging feature that appears conspicuously in the app once it's ready to run – right under the search bar to determine who you must contact.

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The entire graph begins to appear as a series of bubbles that oscillate in a sort of way where a designer is clearly excited at the thought of a more entertaining experience when he 's sure he' s not. acts of contacts. Rather than trying to unearth someone you know from a greater number of social networks or browse your contacts on your phone (which you probably have not cleaned up since then). your first smartphone to 2010), Contacts mia aims to find you the right person right away.

"We are turning a few minutes into inefficient spending and making it more efficient," Kumar said. "If you're looking for a plumber, you're on Yelp and it's inefficient.We take all those wasted minutes because the needs and desires do not fit in. Same thing with LinkedIn, if I'm looking for someone at home Stitch Fix, I can find it on LinkedIn, but the person I would have liked to contact does not exist. Are you looking for a mentor or would you like to advise him? "

After publishing this story, a reader reported on Twitter that the app will send a text message to your contacts to tell them that they have been tagged. Kumar replied that this is designed to curb the abuse in the tweet below.

"You will see in the thread that I have with him that we are very clear during the marking game, that we could confirm the tagging activity with the taggee – if we do not do that, we come to the same abusive behavior people see in YikYak, Secret, or Sirarah, "Kumar said in a follow-up email. "As I said in the thread with Neil, we have to make it even clearer, while keeping the abuse in check."

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The idea came in trying to exploit Kumar's alumni group, which was coming from Yahoo running Yahoo Small Business, and clearly knew how to make his pitch. for the application of a very personal way of Yahoo. He came to Yahoo through the acquisition of his former Lexity company, which Yahoo bought in 2013. Kumar and his team have been working on Trimian for almost three years.

Of course, it remains to be seen if mia Contacts will end up being the right way – and tap the user's good behavior and psychology – to build an application of smart contacts. This will require participation from the entire network. This means that there must be people who have contacts, for starters, and people who are willing to play this game where they mark the potential contacts. And there is a cemetery and many examples of the enormous challenges that players in this space face, such as the acquisition of Humin by Tinder in 2016 (and clearly nothing huge since). To overcome these obstacles, Kumar once again comes back to the utility argument and to some of the steps taken by startup to make sure people know that it is not another social network.

"Our main category in the App Store was social networking, now that's the utilities," he said. "Messaging, for example, has become much less important, and initially we've been very focused on talking to people in the context of Mia, you can still do it, but we're not pushing it. is where messaging for Mia makes sense.We cut all these features.And it should work without internet connection and have all the data locally.If I search for people who might have connections in DC, I should be able to call That's a lot of work has been done here to take care of the use case. "

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Here are the rest of the list of investors, for those who are curious: Josh Elman of Greylock, Jeff Richards of GGV, Esther Dyson, Gokul Rajaram, Vishal Makhijani, Jeff Bonforte, Tapan Bhat, Tuoc Luong, Greg Badros, Comics Goel, Bharat Vemuri and Gordon Chaffee (Google). (Again, a bit of a laundry list out there.)