A Q&A with ContactMonkey founder and CEO Scott Pielsticker. The Toronto–based company was founded last year and earlier this month raised $800K in Seed funding. The round was led by Plazacorp Ventures.
SUB: Please describe what ContactMonkey is, and the value proposition you offer to consumers.
Pielsticker: Good question. ContactMonkey is a tool that allows your contacts to download your contact information seamlessly, accurately, and quickly. The easier it is for your potential clients to get your contact information and of course save it, the more likely you are to get the sale before your competition.
SUB: What are your target markets?
Pielsticker: Professional service organizations—i.e. mortgage brokers, real estate agents, lawyers , sales and marketing focused professionals.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Pielsticker: Without sounding biased, I really don’t feel like we have direct competition. Our product is niche and fills a gap not yet created in-market. We are the only web-based option that works with all forms of address book. Nineteen to be exact.
SUB: What differentiates ContactMonkey from the competition?
Pielsticker: Again, we are web-based, so there is no app to download. We are free for personal users. Cross-platform. [And we] give the ability to users’ potential clients to download contact information without worrying about compatibility.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Pielsticker: The company was founded in 2011. The first step was to build an alpha version of the product to demonstrate that the service was possible. We then expanded the technical team to roll out our beta version and began hiring a sales team to sell the service.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for ContactMonkey? Was there an “aha” moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Pielsticker: The ‘aha’ moment was clear. I was tired of copying and pasting people’s contact info from their email signatures into his address book. I was sure there had to be a more efficient way to share contact information. As I couldn’t find something out there, ContactMonkey was born.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Pielsticker: The most significant obstacle has been to let the world know that we’re here. There’s so much noise in the marketplace. It’s difficult to get your prospective clients to listen to your pitch over others.
SUB: You recently raised $800K in Seed funding. What are your plans for the funds?
Pielsticker: The new money is primarily for sales and marketing. Our product is stable, we have a solid list of clients, and now we need to scale our sales.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
Pielsticker: We don’t have plans to raise any further capital in 2012.
SUB: What are your goals for ContactMonkey over the next year or so?
Pielsticker: Our goal is to reach 100,000 active users.
ContactMonkey – www.contactmonkey.com