A startup called CardMunch aims to best all the other business card reading applications out there, by offering fast, accurate card transcription. And it wants to become even more helpful with a new feature called Follow Up, which automates the process of sending follow-up emails to people after you’ve collected their cards.
Cofounder and chief executive Bowei Gai demonstrated the app for me earlier this summer. We grabbed a stack of cards gathered at a VentureBeat event, lined them up on a table, then scanned each one. It only took a few seconds per card, and we started to receive the transcribed contact info a minute or two later. And the information was all pretty accurate.
Gai said CardMunch uses sophisticated scanning and transcribing technology, but it’s also backed up by a human workforce that can verify the accuracy of the results, and can correct a transcription if it doesn’t match the scanned card. (An app called Econtact Pro is based entirely on human transcription, but without automated transcription, the process can take up to 24 hours.)
So CardMunch already eliminates a lot of the pain of collecting and transcribing business cards. But that’s not the only tedious part of the process. There’s also the time you spend emailing each new contact made at a meeting or a conference, usually with a generic message like “Great meeting you!” The new version of CardMunch makes that easier, too. Whenever you create a new contact, you can tap the “follow up” button to send them a standard email containing your contact information. You can customize the template. For example, if you’re going through the stack of cards you collected at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference, you could say, “Great meeting you at MobileBeat.”
The application costs $2.99 and includes 10 card transcriptions. You can buy additional credits at a rate of 25 cents per card. Download the iPhone app here.