Bump Technologies, developer of a contact and content sharing app for iPhone and Android devices, announced that it had raised US$16 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. In a blog post, the company says that the funding “solidifies our priorities to build a world-class engineering and product organisation here in Silicon Valley,” although it has not yet stated its plans to monetise the service – on its website, it says that “we plan to offer the basic version of Bump free of charge for the entire foreseeable future.” The company says that its 15 staff supports more than 25 million users who have installed Bump on their handsets, adding more than 1 million users in the two weeks up to its financing announcement (on 10 January 2011).
According to Bump, the solution comes in two parts: the handset app, and a cloud-based smart matching algorithm. When a handset is “bumped” against another, the server matches up the corresponding handset, and the two are then paired. It says that it uses “various techniques to limit the pool of potential matches, including location information and characteristics of the bump event.” Users have to confirm the match before any data is shared, and the service links to profiles on social networking sites including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The company also says that it is “working as fast as we can to add features to the existing versions of Bump and expand to other platforms…we fully intend to move Bump to many of the other major phone platforms in the future.”
Bump has also made available an API to enable developers to add Bump support to an app, enabling the easy creation of a messaging channel between two devices. Among the companies using this feature is PayPal, which allows users to “Bump” cash into a friend’s account.