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Gwabbit is announcing today that it hit profitability in the month of August thanks to sales of its software, which automates the collection of contact information.
Gwabbit made a splash earlier this year at DEMO 2009 when it showed off software that can automate the process of taking contacts from emails and putting them into Microsoft Outlook’s address book. In May, it launched a version for BlackBerry smart phones.
Todd Miller, chief executive of the 10-person company, said it has sold tens of thousands of copies of the software and hopes it can hit the 1 million mark after its first 12 months of sales. The company shows that a good idea can help a company become profitable in this economy, even without millions of dollars in venture funding and years of losses.
“We became profitable in just under six months,” said Miller. “That’s a big deal in this economy.”
The software is clever. For the Blackberry version, Gwabbit will automatically search incoming email for contact information. If the contact is already in the BlackBerry’s address book, then it will do nothing. If the contact isn’t there, the software asks users if they want the information entered. If the user says yes, Gwabbit automatically adds the contact information to the phone’s address book.
The Carmel Valley, Calif.-based company, formerly called Technicopia, is working on a couple of new versions for enterprises in the next 60 days, according to Miller. It could also add iPhone and Android phone versions sometime down the road. The company is also working on enabling the software to scan all email coming into a company for contact information and to put it in a central database.
The BlackBerry version sells on Gwabbit’s web page for $9.95 a year. The Outlook version for the PC costs a one-time fee of $19.95. So far, Miller says he isn’t planning on raising venture capital.
The company name is a fusion of the words “grab it” and rabbit/wabbit (hence, the silly rabbit mascot). Miller had the idea as far back as 2001. He was sick and tired of pasting contacts, field by field, into Outlook. But he was tied up with another startup, WebFeat, which created a federated search engine for research and business purposes.
In 2008, he sold that business to ProQuest and was stunned to discover that Microsoft still hadn’t automated its tedious contact system. When he looked around, he found solutions like Address Grabber. The Xobni email manager has a similar solution that grabs phone numbers, but for some reason it doesn’t grab the rest of the contact data and store it. Another competitor is Anagram, which has had a contact capture app out for some time. Miller funded the project with his own money.
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