ShareSquare, developers of a mobile platform that uses 2D barcodes, dubbed “QR codes,” to connect offline media like posters to the mobile Web, is formally launching today after proving wildly popular at this year’s South By Southwest conference.
The big difference with ShareSquare, compared to other QR code competitors, is that it also offers a content management system to lets brands easily link QR codes to a customized mobile Web app. The company also offers real-time analytics with geolocation capabilities, allowing brands to instantly track the effectiveness of their campaigns.
As such, ShareSquare arguably represents the next evolution of QR code technology. Instead of just being a disconnected way for brands to link to web pages, they can now easily implement the technology as an integral part of their offline marketing campaigns.
At SXSW, over 100 bands and brands used ShareSquare’s private beta to connect festivalgoers with their Web presences. The company held a contest for the festival’s “Most Scanned Band,” which led nearly 2,000 users to scan QR codes spread out across Austin. One intrepid band even placed QR codes on a tour bus. ShareSquare says that over “1,300 artists, agencies and brand advertisers” participated in its private beta over the past three months.
The company offers several modules for its mobile content-management system, including a video module that instantly directs users’ phones to play mobile video, a download module that points directly to an app, and a share module to instantly lets users share information via Twitter and Facebook. You can also hold contests using the “Instant Win” module.
ShareSquare offers a free account for you to test out its service with five different QR codes and mobile web apps. A $100 a month Pro account bumps up that number to 10 QR codes and adds features like custom domain support. Larger organizations can opt for the $499 a month enterprise account, which offers 100 QR codes and the ability to earn revenue by serving ads.
Having researched many QR code-focused companies, I can say ShareSquare is the first I’ve seen that pushes the technology forward to the point where QR codes may finally get mainstream acceptance.
ShareSquare is based in Los Angeles, Calif., and is a graduate of the Founder Institute, a startup advisory and training program. The company has raised $150,000 from Los Angeles-area investors, including Paige Craig, Roy Rodenstein and Jeff Miller.