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LinkedIn buys business card transcription service CardMunch
Are you so popular that you don’t even have time to process all of the phone numbers that people keep throwing at you? There’s an app for that. CardMunch, a Palo Alto-based service created by a couple of Carnegie Mellon students, allows you to snap a picture of a business card using your iPhone and within minutes, the contact information from that card is transcribed and entered into your CardMunch contacts. The company announced late Wednesday that it has been acquired by LinkedIn.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the move only makes too much sense. The service has allowed users to connect with LinkedIn to connect with their newly added contacts directly from their phone—a natural next step. It makes you wonder why LinkedIn didn't think of this sooner...
To sweeten the deal, the service is now completely free. Previously, the app cost $2.99 to download and the service itself came with a per-card transcription fee of $0.25 after the first ten cards.
What really sets the service apart from others is the fact that it uses real human beings to transcribe each individual card, rather than relying on computerized Optical Character Recognition technology. Relying on its human workforce to transcribe the cards, the service can return contact information from a business card within minutes. Interestingly, the company claims to be able to transcribe any number of cards in as little as ten minutes—be it five cards or 1,000—and its human labor pool, it says, ensures 100% accuracy.
“At CardMunch, we recognized that business cards are an essential part of doing business, and that they serve a practical purpose by being the most frictionless way of exchanging contact information,” the company said in its blog. “We also recognized that the world is now mobile – the phone needs to be the center of our contact universe… Our long-term vision for CardMunch has been to help manage business contacts and help you to leverage your contacts and connections for doing business.”
The company was founded in 2009 and claims to have an on-demand workforce of some 1000 workers to date.
Image source: CardMunch.com
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