A Paris-based and New York startup called Shapr has gone on to raise close to 3 million to create a professional networking website for your industry. However, unlike LinkedIn, which is one of the largest networking giants, Shapr is user-friendly on mobile. As a user, you get a chance to go through a list of the contacts that you know and would love to endorse. You can then easily share these contacts with other people in your network to forge connections.
What’s the Story of Shapr?
The brand was founded in the middle of 2014 by Huraux Ludovic, who’s also known for creating Attractive World, which is a French dating site. He has also worked with private entities and startups such as Prezi and Songza.
He says that the idea of the networking app grew from his need to help fellow entrepreneurs connect with more people. He adds that getting connected nowadays is very random and frustrating. Here, you’ll find most networking websites connect you with people who you hardly know or others who haven’t met for many years. Eventually, this hinders proper online and real-time endorsements.
How Does It Work?
Nowadays, the Shapr app allows you to choose from up to 50 people who you trust. You can then go on and share your network with them, and they can easily get access to all your connections. Keep in mind that the people who you connect with should only be from your ‘inner circle.’
It attempts to mimic offline introductions by offering five presentations or endorsements each day. As a user, you can view the five matches, and accept or reject them by only swiping right or left using the app. The swiping interface is akin to the user experience of Tinder. If you both accept the match, then you’re connected and able to engage in fruitful conversations!
It also comes with another feature known as the “Shapeline” which provides a more collaborative and public feed. Here, if you are a user, you can share opportunities, advice and further build on your relationships.
The industry operates in an environment where several professional networking applications have tried and since failed. Such companies include Holler, Mingle, and Intro which sadly tried to find new methods of making the networking process quicker on mobile. Similar to Shapr, they focused mainly on shared interests and proximity as a reliable starting point.
So where was the challenge? We found that the problem of using these mobile applications is that they lack certain connections. For instance, you cannot reach out to investors or people having public profile or status. These people normally have many other connections from other connections, and they may not be willing to increase their inbound flow. Eventually, you end up networking with many people, sailing in a similar boat.
But this should not discourage you as not all investors behave in such a way. There are some who value the need to keep increasing their contacts by meeting new people. You just have to keep trying and never give up on your goal!
How Does Shapr Make Professional Networking As Simple As Swiping Right?
If today you were to ask an average person if they enjoy networking, you’ll probably get a straight “No” or even an eye roll. They find it uncomfortable, painful and a process that lacks genuine connections.
But we now have a reason to smile with this Tinder-like application used for professional and advanced networking. Let us see how it manages to survive in an area where others have collapsed.
What Makes It Unique From Other Networking Events Such As LinkedIn?
Some people may invest their time through happy hour events in networking as they try to make the proper value in time and money for their connections. However, the truth is most people dislike all types of networking events.
Here, you’ll find that even the most perfectly organized events in networking may feel a bit forced to an individual who’s used to creating his connections online. This is with good reason – it’s hard to know if the connections you want to make are worth your time.
One of the marketing managers at Citi added that “it’s like walking into a cold room without knowing who is there and why they choose to be there.” Besides, you also have no guarantee that you’ll connect with any person in the company or in an industry that you’re pursuing.
LinkedIn has bridged this gap in several ways for us. Keep in mind that we are the same generation that spends most of its adult years looking for ‘juicy’ details about someone through social media websites such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Just like we use our social media platforms, we like context and the chance to give our networking time priority. With LinkedIn, for instance, we can know the history, background, networks, and skills of an individual before even we start talking to them. Unluckily, such comes with its own set of disadvantages. For example, we found that most of us do not like the ‘Who has viewed your profile” feature.
Well as human beings, we are curious creatures of nature, and we love to stalk. Unfortunate for us, we can no longer enjoy these ‘privilege’ with LinkedIn and even in Shapr. You may view many profiles without realizing that the website is notifying them. You’ll only realize this if someone views your profile and you get a notification.
However, Shapr is unique from LinkedIn and other networking websites because of its ability to create brand new connections in an approachable or friendly manner. With LinkedIn, you can only connect with those people you’ve directly talked to or met. If you try connecting with any other person, they may feel awkward or may think you want to sell them a product.
The Beauty of Using Shapr
Shapr is an application that uses a new approach when it comes to professional networking. By applying smart and straightforward algorithm, it provides 10 to 15 profiles of nearby professionals who carry similar interests. We’ve mentioned that it has a similar relationship to Tinder where users get to swipe from left to right to show if they are willing to connect with the other person. If two individuals swipe right, they can now start charting and even decide to meet in person maybe over a cup of coffee!
Although networking can be kind of tiresome and also requires a good amount of energy and time to create successful relationships, Shapr makes the entire process easier. It introduces you to like-minded investors who are close by and would love to grow their online networks. The main app’s goal is to create a networking system that’s inspiring and seamless enough to become a lifestyle!
It’s interested in opening up new business opportunities for all its subscribers. Having mentioned this, they also have flagging features and moderators to make sure that all those pursuing unprofessional connections like selling or dating are reported directly!
Huraux further reiterated that “At Shapr, they aim to create a mindful method of networking.” It ensures that all your business cards reach a wide-range of people. Through creating beneficial conversations, Shapr gives you the first step in creating long-term relationships.