Personal CRM Startups Hashable and Rapportive Launch New Features to Make Their Apps More Addictive

WHAT: Hashable: Manage all your contacts and relationships on your phone(s) and desktop. The 2.0 version makes "private" the default setting and adds follow-up reminders that integrate with your calendar, follow-up messages (e.g., thank yous), relationship histories and private notes about contacts.

Rapportive: See info about the person emailing you -- photo, current job, recent tweets, etc. --  in your inbox (Gmail only right now) and add private note about him. Latest feature: see info about the person you’re composing an email to.

Hashable: Michael Yavonditte, CEO. Rapportive: Rahul Vohra (CEO), Martin Kleppmann and Sam Stokes (CTO).

WHY: Hashable and Rapportive users were asking for these features. Mike says some wondered if Hashable was trying to be a social network -- not strange considering the company initially encouraged and many made a game of tweeting Hashable’s standard hashtags when meeting people. But since users wanted utility, that became the focus of 2.0.

Rahul says the composing view in Rapportive was an obvious missing feature and the founders themselves wanted it.

WHEN/WHERE: Hashable 2.0 in New York / July 13. Rapportive feature in San Francisco / July 15.

BUSINESS MODEL: Hashable eventually plans to sell access to its data (for instance, a recruiter trying to to hire a CTO could find out which CTO people in New York interact with the most). A premium app and advertising are also possible. Rapportive has a freemium model -- first paid feature just went into beta and should be available in a few weeks.

IN THE PERSONAL CRM SPACE: Gist and Xobni. Salesforce bought Etacts in December 2010 but shut it down earlier this year.

LinkedIn and Hashable don’t compete directly, but as Mike points out, Hashable knows the strength of your connection to a person, “which is something LinkedIn doesn’t know.”

CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: Mike says Hashable has about 50K to 60K downloads, mainly in the U.S. Rapportive does not release user numbers.

PHILOSOPHY: “Just keep changing things till you get it right -- easy to say, hard to do,” says Mike.

WHO BACKED IT: Hashable: Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures and Doug Chertok of Vast Ventures (both on the board), among others. Rapportive: Y Combinator then long list that includes Gmail founder Paul Buchheit, Gary Vaynerchuk, 500 Startups and Shervin Pishevar.

TOTAL RAISED: Hashable: $6M (not raising right now). Rapportive: $1M seed (raising $2M soon).

WHAT HASHABLE INVESTORS SAY: Brad Burnham says, “Our investment is a bet on Mike” and that Mike stood out in the pool of New York’s entrepreneurs (he sold Google AdSense competitor Quigo to AOL in 2007 for about $340M).

Says Doug Chertok, “The latest iteration is the next step towards innovating people's contacts and calendars for the glo-so-mo world [global/local, social, mobile].”

Sherree Worrell, a business and social media consultant in Sacramento, says she loves the updated version. “No need for business cards, no need to scramble for my calendar, everything I need is right in the app.”

Perri Blake Gorman, a headhunter in New York who beta-tested 2.0 and has been using Hashable since the early days, says, “I have always thought Hashable was a ‘pro’ tool from the beginning. It is now behaving like a valuable (or invaluable) networking tool.”

Eric VanderSchaaf in Dallas thinks Hashable’s management did a great job listening to and incorporating user feedback. While using Hashable has become normal for him, “it will take people spreading the word about Hashable and its capabilities” for the app to go mainstream, he says.

Kendrick Montgomery agrees but also thinks Hashable "needs to get more media attention and start a buzz."

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: Hashable: 16, about half are technical. Rapportive: 5 (all technical).

After entering an email address in your Gmail account, Rapportive will show information about that person in a sidebar even before you’ve begun writing.



You can schedule follow-up reminders in Hashable, and these appear in one list.

People you’ve connected with have an integrated profile, with all their contact info on the screen. Tap on the top nav bar to see reminders and notes about this person.

When you save an interaction with someone, you now see other people in your network connected to that person.


1. “How to Make Your Network Work for You” (Harvard Business Review blog, February 18, 2010)

2. Michael Yavonditte on This Week in Startups (Episode #119, February 22, 2011)

3. “How to make a business card cube” (Ned Batchelder, updated January 2007)


Michael Yavonditte
Email: yavo at hashable dot com
Twitter: @mikeyavo

Rahul Vohra
Email: rahul at rapportive dot com
Twitter: @rahulvohra

Investors: Brad Burnham (USV, Twitter), Doug Chertok (Vast, AngelList)

Investors: Paul Buchheit (Twitter, AngelList), Gary Vaynerchuk (Twitter, AngelList), Shervin Pishevar (Twitter, AngelList)

Disclosure: The founder of LAUNCH, Jason Calacanis, has angel invested (or is an advisor to) about 25 companies including Rapportive and Hashable. When we cover companies he has invested in or is an
advisor to, it is our policy for him to read the story when you do -- which is to say after it's been written.