Sonar, Pearescope, and Other NYC Companies Take Aim in Battle to Connect New Contacts

When New York startup Sonar rolled out the latest version of its networking app on Sept. 15, it included for—the first time—data from LinkedIn. Now armed with contact information gleaned from a business-oriented social network, Sonar’s app is trying to attract more professionals to the ranks of its users. This is the latest competitive move in the war to make social connections more useful and mobile.

Sonar’s CEO and founder Brett Martin says his company, which has raised a seed round with undisclosed backers, has helped make more than 60,000 introductions since its app was released in May at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC.

Meanwhile Pearescope, another New York-based startup, is preparing to release its similarly-themed app this fall, according to CEO and founder Whit Schrader. Pearescope has also raised seed funding, but Schrader declined to reveal who his backers are.

Connecting professionals with new clients, potential hires, and other opportunities may elevate such social-contact apps from novelties to real-world business tools.

While other apps are available for keeping track of contacts, Sonar is among the first that’s aimed at introducing users to relevant new connections in person. The addition of LinkedIn data, Martin says, can make the app particularly useful for networking.

Users of Sonar are introduced to potential contacts based on their mutual connections. Through Foursquare check-ins, Sonar alerts the users to people in the area they are connected with on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Sonar’s app is currently available for the iPhone but … Next Page »

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João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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