Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.


“No one has never said, ‘Boy, I sure do love emailing myself files.'”

Truer words were never spoken. The ones above come from the mouth of Dave Lieb, Bump‘s CEO. His app makes it easy to share contact information, photos, and all kinds of files between devices by “bumping” the two devices together.

Bump started out with just smartphones. Now, you can bump any kind of file — PDFs, documents, photos, executables, you name it — between phones as well as personal computers.

“It’s kind of become a USB drive in your phone,” said Lieb. “Except it’s better, because you can’t lose it, and it’s got unlimited storage in the cloud.”

And as for emailing yourself slide decks and spreadsheets, Lieb said, “We hope people can actually look forward to this experience rather than dreading it.”

The bump-to-keyboard feature first arrived back in May as a way to share photos only between a PC and a smartphone. “It turns out that people really love it, and it’s growing at a really fast rate,” said Lieb. Since Bump users liked the feature so much, the team decided to expand the functionality to all file types — which means the app is likely to be useful to a much wider swath of people in a much broader range of use cases.

But Bump won’t be rocking the boat for all its users with a new or complicated interface, Lieb said. “It really doesn’t change anything about the mobile app, and on the computer, we try to keep everything really simple. … Everything we’re trying to build is along that vein.”

While we had Lieb on the line, we asked about the overall health of his business.

The company launched Flock, a standalone photo-sharing-in-the-background app, last summer. “Flock is doing really well, we’re learning a lot of things,” Lieb told us. “We’re looking at the numbers, and they’re all really positive.”

While Lieb couldn’t get specific on digits, he did say, “Having two products [Bump and Flock] to focus on is definitely more challenging. But there’s still a unifying theme: We’re trying to solve people’s real-world problems and make it easier for them to interact. And they’re really similar from a UX point of view.” In other words, a lot of the work that goes into Bump can be reused and duplicated for Flock and vice versa.

As for the money side, Lieb said, “We’re not monetizing right now. We’re still figuring out how to make the products really good and how to drive value to users. … It’s not a big focus.”

The CEO said his startup’s flagship investors, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, are both supportive of the team’s users-first-money-second approach. “They’re very well aligned with what we’re trying to do here. … We don’t really get that pressure at all from our investors.”

While Bump will have to keep waiting for its dollar-counting days, there’s still plenty of figures to keep track of, Lieb said. “The things to look at when you can’t measure revenue are growth: Are you getting new users each day? And were getting 100,000 new users around the world every day.

“Another thing is whether people who download it are still using it. And we’re doing really well there, too … We estimate that well north of 50 percent of our 125 million install base still have the app on their phones.”

The final metric of prerevenue success, said Lieb, is to ask, “Is the app valuable to the people who use it? And the people who use Bump and Flock really love it.”

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.