Mobilo is a smart business card because it bridges the physical and digital worlds
Please introduce yourself and Mobilo to our readers!
I’m Pieter Limburg, founder and CEO of Mobilo, maker of the first smart business card for teams and the virtual networking scene. Founded in 2019, just before the pandemic, Mobilo has helped over 25,000 companies switch from paper business cards to digital ones. Mobilo digitalizes contact exchanges through smart business cards that only need to be tapped on a phone once for instant information sharing, but, at its core, Mobilo is a tool that enables and fosters business relationships. We believe that relationships are the heartbeat of success, so our smart business cards are just the beginning of a journey towards creating a more connected and collaborative business world.
Mobilo is a smart business card because it bridges the physical and digital worlds. We believe that although we’re on our way to virtual realities, we still need and want that physical aspect of connecting in the real world.
Why did you decide to start a business?
I am captivated by the potential of innovation to transform the way we live and work. It’s been a driving force behind every business I’ve founded. I fell in love with technology when I was 16 and putting computers together. However, I quickly realized that people were buying my products not for the technology itself, but for the services that I was offering them – installing their computers and guiding them.
Likewise, I had the same realization later on, when I opened my own retail business, one of the first ones in the Netherlands to combine online and offline shopping. I then realized that I was not selling cameras, but moments and memories. The common thread? In both cases, I thought I was selling products, but people were actually choosing us for our services.
In a way, every time I have started a new business, I have identified problems and created products to solve them. From identifying the shift from analog to digital photography to recognizing the need for a digital business card, I have always been intrigued by the place where technology and innovation meet practical execution.
What is the vision behind Mobilo?
We want to make life easier with technology. The ‘a-ha’ moment for Mobilo came when I returned from a conference and had 90 business cards with me. I realized that after spending the entire weekend networking, I had to do my ‘homework’ and follow up with all my new contacts. I thought, “How could I make this easier? How could I get all this information on my phone quickly AND follow-up?”
Although business cards are a cornerstone of the ever-changing business landscape, they are one of the last items to be reinvented for the digital world. With automation influencing so many industries, why not introduce this element to business cards? We also wanted to showcase how powerful a simple business card can be and the impact it can have on transforming HR, sales, and recruitment processes. Beyond simplifying contact management, Mobilo opens up a world of streamlined event ROI measurement – you can store lead information directly into CRM with a tap and escape the traditional methods, which are often riddled with inaccuracies.
From the idea to the start, what have been the biggest challenges so far and how did you finance yourself?
We’ve had our fair share of challenges, to put it lightly. Firstly, when I decided that I wanted to start Mobilo, my wife was seven months pregnant – not the best time to switch careers. This was a decision that we had to make as a family. And the same goes for finances.
At the time, I was convinced that Mobilo could be something big, so I spent all my savings to get through the first six months. After some initial success, we reached out to family and friends. Today, we have raised over $4M from VCs like DeepWork Capital and TMT Investments to invest in product improvements and further accelerate growth.
Then COVID-19 hit, and we thought it would be the end of it, as people were no longer interacting in person and networking seemed like a thing of the past. Fortunately, we had faith in our product, so we waited for a few weeks, and then we noticed that people started using it during online meetings. Looking back, we actually ended up growing rapidly during COVID!
Who is the target group of Mobilo?
Mobilo’s clientele spans a diverse range of industries, encompassing international banks, marketing companies, hospitals, and plumbing companies, among others. From startups to enterprises, Mobilo aims to cater to individuals and organizations seeking a more efficient and modern way to share and manage contact information. One of our goals was also to make life easier for HR professionals and the likes of with our integration functionality, which makes it easy to manage large teams and streamline workflows.
Some of our clients include AAA, Marriott, and Rexford Industrial; however, Mobilo is for anyone who wants to make a great first impression. We believe that every interaction matters, and our smart business card is designed to empower professionals of all backgrounds to make a stellar first impression, regardless of their size or industry.
How does Mobilo work? What are the advantages? What makes you different from other providers?
Mobilo’s technology is quite straight-forward. The Mobilo cards are compatible with all modern smartphones and only need to be tapped once on the phone for the contact details to be instantly shared. However, what makes Mobilo special are its AI integrations. For example, thanks to AI solutions, lead information can be instantly stored in the CRM, thereby improving data quality. Mobilo’s technology can easily manage teams of over 10,000 members as the business cards are created and updated automatically, requiring minimal manual intervention.
Our security standards are also a big differentiator, as Mobilo was the first smart business card company to become SOC 2 certified, and it has also developed its own proprietary security layer to keep data safe.
Where does the road go for Mobilo? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Our main goal will remain to make people’s lives easier by empowering individuals and teams to make lasting, meaningful connections effortlessly. Having said that, we will continually refine and expand our AI integrations to offer more intelligent and intuitive features that elevate networking and lead management. Our vision is to create a dynamic ecosystem where professionals, teams, and businesses can easily share contact information, forge long-term collaborations, and unlock opportunities. In the end, networking is all about fostering connections.
At the end: Which 3 tips would you give to future founders?
Don’t mistake the product for the solution you are offering. A product is just a component; its true value lies in how it solves a specific problem.
Hire passionate and curious people. A potential employee’s genuine interest in our product and a drive to explore and learn serve as the foundational qualities we seek at Mobilo.
Meet your customers where they are. As I mentioned before, the Mobilo smart business card acts as a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, acknowledging the ongoing shift towards digital – while recognizing the importance of providing a seamless transition for individuals to embrace this essential change.
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.