connex.io : Hassle free managing of your address book across various platforms

By Team YS|1st Feb 2011
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Managing your address book is a hassle! Your contacts are distributed everywhere, across different devices and services. Sometimes the data is incomplete, out of date or just plain wrong.connex.io has an easy to use solution to this complex problem. By creating a network between your address books we are able to automatically keep them synchronized. This results in one address book that seamlessly lives on many devices and services. If one of your contact’s information changes, connex.io will automatically update that contact on all of your devices and services.connex.io helps you save time, effort and frustration by keeping your address book clean, complete and up-to-date.

connex.io is a Swiss startup with a global team behind it. The business side is pursued from Zurich, technological progress is pushed from Turkmenistan. Currently a team of 5 people stands behind connex.io: Besides the two co-founders three interns, one in Zurich and two in Ashgabat, help in making the vision a reality. So far the business has been bootstrapped by the two founders (and USD 10,000 won in a competition) but they are currently in the process of raising a seed round..

connex.io is about making your address book easy again by automatically managing their user's personal address books. To do this connex.io weaves a network between a client's existing address books and uses the data stored in all of them to build a clean, complete and up-to-date personal address book for them. As this is done continuously the user's personal address book will stay that way.

connex.io currently supports Google Contacts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Android, and Mozilla Thunderbird. Support for more devices and services is added continuously to provide you with the best possible service.

Marcus is a 26 year old entrepreneur who instead of going to take a job at one of the big name consulting companies decided to go ahead with connex.io - his first venture. He has a Masters in Strategy and International Management from the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland as well as an MBA in Technology from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. While in Singapore Marcus met Ata, a hacker from Turkmenistan, with whom he then started connex.io. By now the two have been working on connex.io for a little over a year

Marcus talks about Connex.io and its features to YourStory

Idea behind Connex.io:

The idea behind connex.io originated in a networking seminar I was attending. There the coach mentioned that it was nearly impossible to manage all the contacts one has today and it is impossible to keep up. I was convinced that had to be easier especially in an age where every address book can be somehow connected to the Internet. The idea behind connex.io is to build. network between the existing address books everyone has in phones, email clients, and social networks. Based on this network we are then able to create a clean, complete, and up-to-date personal address book for each of our users. Our goal is to make this as easy and simple as possible because we believe people want things to just work and not to worry about the details.


Features:

Our public beta, the first version we will release to our users will contain the following features:

- Complete, automatic sync of your existing address books (including Pictures, Work Details etc.)

- Automatic merging of contacts that list the details of the same person

- No frills, you connect your existing address books in as few as one step, and then you are good to go.

- Support for the most popular devices and services (e.g. Android, Linkedin, Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, Apple Contacts, iPhone, Thunderbird)

See also here: http://connex.io/?page_id=196 which is less about features and more about benefits.

Pricing


We know that we want to make connex.io a premium service with a free trial but we do not yet know what the price will be in the end. connex.io is Software as a Service and we therefore will not be aiming for a onetime payment but instead for regular, monthly or yearly, payments.

Currently, based on survey results and lots of talks with existing and potential users we aim towards a price of around USD 5 per month.

Technology behind - Platforms it works on

We are a Python Shop (except for our website which for simplicity's sake runs on Wordpress and therefore PHP). We use Pylons as our Webapp Frontend because of its flexibility. Pylons, because it is based on WSGI allows us to be completely free in the choice of our tools. As our Frontend is based completely on our own API, instead of accessing the daza directly, this required quite some flexibility. This brings us to our Backend which is also written in Python (at least for the most part). To tie the different component together we use Google's Protocol Buffers (where we are in the process of releasing a big performance improvement for the Python implementation back to the community). To allow for scalability in our heavily write based app we use Apache Cassandra as our data store.

We are hosting at Cloudsigma, a Swiss Infrastructure as a Service provider because of the flexibility and security features.


Diversification plans / Functions you plan to add

There are many plans but not many things are fixed. We definitely intend to broaden the number of supported devices and standards and we also intend to enlargen the circle of potential users to business users and businesses which will mean added features.

Things we definitely want to keep in mind while doing all that is that the solution should be as easy as possible, basically effortless, for the user and that data quality as well as security are key issues.

Our main goal at the moment is to get the Beta out of the door and to test our product with a wider audience so we can find product-market fit.

Visit http://connex.io/ here

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