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If you’re not satisfied with the contacts services that tech giants Apple and Google offer, rest assured that other options are out there.

For instance, Hoiio Live, which launches today at DEMO Spring, offers a comparable service that acts as a cloud-based Phonebook. Hoiio Live provides automatic updates of your phone’s contact data, regardless of the platform. The service uses any CardDAV client to update data to your phone on both Macs or Windows machines. It’s currently only available on the iPhone, but the company plans to launch an Android version in the near future.

“There are hundreds of thousands of business cards being exchanged every day. We meet people, exchange business cards, then the next thing we do is to keep the cards in our pocket,” Hoiio Live founder and COO Ong Kok Choong told VentureBeat. “After a while we struggle to look for one card, we manually encode the card to our phone book, and (half) of the time the card has outdated contact details.”


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Choong said his company was looking for a free service it could offer to customers on top of the company’s Hoiio Cloud Communication Platform. The idea for Hoiio Live came after staring at a pile of business cards on his table that he hadn’t had time to clear.

“Hoiio’s compeitior is Twillio. We are better than our competitor because Hoiio has figured out Asia and comparing our costs, we are cheaper,” said Ong Kok Choong.

Hoiio Live also faces some pretty stiff competition from Apple’s iCloud contacts, Google Contacts, Cardflick, and Plaxo. The service, which officially launched a month ago, managed to nab over 3,000 active users (with a cumulative 1 million contacts) in its first week. That initial traction put the Hoiio Live iPhone app at the top of the Singapore and Kuwait App Store’s productivity category, according to the company.

“I know LinkedIn bought Chomp. I’d love to be able to open a LinkedIn app and see who is around me, [using this technology]. I’d like to see this integrated with LinkedIn,” said Will Price, chief executive of Flite at DEMO.

Founded in 2007, Hoiio is based in Singapore, with additional offices in Hong Kong and San Diego, Calif. It has 23 employees, with six of them devoted to the Hoiio Live service. The startup is self-funded through its founders as well as government-sponsored research grants.

We’ve embedded a demo video and some screenshots of the Hoiio Live service below.

Hoiio Live is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

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