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Contxto – When one is forgetful but has a hectic schedule, our smartphone can quickly become our best friend. It reminds us of scheduled appointments, upcoming birthdays, or even, to do the most basic of tasks like go to the gym and water our plants.
But one startup from El Salvador wants to go beyond these reminders. That’s why Red Sofa developed a tool to help users better juggle their day-to-day tasks, manage their to-do lists, and even develop their network of contacts without going anywhere.
In other words, a nifty digital networking app to better position your brand and professionally.
Roberto López co-founded the startup in 2017. In that same year, it raised an investment of over US$500,000 López told Contxto.
After this, Red Sofa launched its product prototype in 2018.
Besides scheduling features, the app lets users better organize the contacts on their phone and even arrange them by profession or into customized groups. For example, they can build one for their work friends, potential customers, vendors, so on and so forth.
Likewise, users can connect with others that use the app and tap into their network of contacts too. The system will even make recommendations on who might be worth looking up among them.
Networking gets kicked into high gear through its Business Vitae feature. Through it, users can build their profile for others to see.
Downloading the app with these features comes at no cost. Up until now, it sounds like a combination of LinkedIn with Google Calendar, right?
However, it begins to diverge from these models in its approach towards monetization.
Red Sofa uses a point system for profitability.
So when a person signs up, they’re assigned points. A small number of points are recharged on their account on a monthly basis.
People use these points when they request a contact when networking on the app. If they run out of points, they can pay between US$2 to US$4 to get more.
Networking in the digital age
Attending networking events can be a handful with so much going on in our day-to-day lives. And certainly, a tool that allows you to connect with potential clients or employers without having to leave the office, your comfy red sofa, or while riding the bus home is useful.
However, in order for this startup’s app to work and its point system to be rewarding, it requires a large user base.
Red Sofa told Contxto in written correspondence that it currently has over 3,000 users, half of which are in Central America.
The startup also states it’s different from other networking solutions and scheduling apps because it’s centered on acting as a complementary tool for phone calls.
But just to keep its bases covered, work is underway to make their product compatible with other commonly used apps, like Outlook.
And I’d have to agree. As a user, it’s hard to resist using tech that’s already well-known like LinkedIn and Google Calendar.
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