Paris- and New York-based startup Shapr has raised $3 Million from investors including Blablacar co-founder Fred Mazzella, the company confirmed on Twitter this week. The startup, which aims to leverage the power of introductions, was co-founded by Ludovic Huraux, formerly of Attractive World, and by Zane Groshelle last year.
The product, currently built on top of LinkedIn’s API (with all the hazard’s that can cause), allows users to identify 50 people in their network for whom they are willing to open up their entire network (see: Path). Users then receive 5 daily ‘intro’s’ – proposed connections to one of your 50 connections’ connections – and, if both parties agree (see: Tinder), then the introductions are made and the two professionals connect (see: LinkedIn).
I was introduced to the app in late 2014 by a professional colleague, and I was a bit hesitant. I am often asked for intro’s to people based on my connection to them on LinkedIn, and usually I don’t know the person well enough to make the intro, despite being connected with them. Shapr hopes to solve this by narrowing down your network to 50 People, and this has clearly seduced some so far.
For now, the most difficult task for me is deciding 50 people with whom I’m willing to share my network, whom I’m also willing to make available to the other 49’s network, should they be interested.