As smartphone adoption rises and technology companies embrace the technology, QR Codes are becoming more of a mainstream product for businesses, products and brands. QR Codes, which is short for Quick Response, are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone – this can be links, videos, text, photos and more. Today, Y Combinator-backed Paperlinks is launching a new way for businesses to engage consumers with QR codes.
Essentially, Paperlinks creates QR codes for businesses and brands but with a particular focus on the design of the code itself. The actual code can incorporate the logo of a brand or business.
The beauty of Paperlinks is that instead of leading peoples to a web page (as most QR codes do), Paperlinks app and codes open up a landing page with the company’s logo and other modules, which can include Tweets, calendars, video, contact info, photos and more.
Paperlinks has its own free QR reader app available for the iPhone. But the startup’s codes are compatible with any QR reader on a phone (i.e. RedLaser’s QR reader would work on any Paperlinks code).
One compelling feature that Paperlinks includes in the landing page is the ability to add content from the brand or business directly to your own applications. For example, if you scan a QR code for a business, you can click on the contact info in the landing page and it can be added to your contacts. Users have a similar experience when adding events from a calendar and more.
Paperlinks also provides analytics (or “scanalytics”) for businesses, which give then metrics on how effective campaigns are, how long users are spending on landing page, which are most popular modules they are clicking on and more. Paperlinks will also provide print services (i.e. printing QR codes on posters and business cards).
And the implementation is fairly easy for brands. Paperlinks offers brands a web app where they can create a QR code and landing page in minutes. The startup has adopted a freemium model, with the lowest priced plan available for only $25.00 per month.
Current customers include the House of Blues (owned by Live Nation) and Joe’s Jeans. House Of Blues’ QR codes lead to a schedule of concerts at a particular location, which can then be added a scanner’s calendar. We’re told Robert Scoble has been using a Paperlinks business card which has already been scanned over five hundred times.
Not only is Paperlinks, which has only raised money from Y Combinator to date and plans to accept money from the Start Fund, seeing traction among brands, but small businesses are using their technology to add to an online and mobile presence at an affordable price. The startup’s sales have doubled every month, with approximately 2,000 QR code campaigns created in three months.
The startup’s founder, Hamilton Chan, has somewhat of unique background for a startup entrepreneur. He graduated Harvard College and Harvard Law School and worked as a corporate attorney during which he represented NBA star Kobe Bryant on number of business-related transactions. He has also worked in M&A at JP Morgan, in the the entertainment industry at MGM Studios and then took over and turned around his family printing business. Chan says that while his path has been a little unorthodox, he’s always envisioned becoming an entrepreneur.
Paperlinks’ mission is to hyperlink the real world. Currently, Paperlinks fulfills this by providing the ultimate QR code infrastructure for businesses. Paperlinks’ solution is end-to-end, providing: a free QR reading app; code generation; a Content Management System for managing code content; and in-house design and print services.