For anyone who’s had to text a friend for another friend’s phone number — so, all of us — Dubb is an app that lets users request contact information from those in their extended friend network, who can in turn choose to accept, deny, or only allow certain addresses and numbers through. Dubb will be available in beta October 1, and founder Neven Zeremski said he aims to raise a seed round of $500k by the end of that month.
As is the case for many apps, Dubb rose out of a personal pain, specifically the mass movement away from the Blackberry.
“During the rise of BBM a lot of people stopped taking down phone numbers and just took PINs,” Zeremski said. “Those are irrelevant, and everyone has moved onto iPhones and Androids. I’m no longer connected to them.”
Hence an app that allows you to see who is in your extended friend network and contact those people without actually having their information. It’s a souped-up address book that also allows users to search their network by company or workplace, making it a less professionally focused competitor to LinkedIn.
Like LinkedIn, Dubb will follow a freemium model in which users can pay $4.99 a month to view a second level of potential contacts, their friends’ friends’ friends. Those who are especially concerned about their own privacy (but do want access to others through the app) can opt to remain invisible in the network for the same price.
Zeremski said that in addition to online marketing, he is hoping to build Dubb’s user base through ground awareness, especially on college campuses where freshmen feverishly swap digits every fall.
Later versions of the app will include searchable contact tagging. For another writer on this site, one might tag “TechCrunch; Writer; Blog; Tech; Mobile.” The goal for version 3.0 is to enable in-app messaging, which would position it as a competitor to Viber or WhatsApp.
Dubb could certainly be useful and would encourage users to expand their friend group just by virtue of having access to each other’s contact information. On numerous occasions I’ve wanted to text someone about something funny and not done so because I couldn’t be bothered to get her number. But like any networking app, Dubb is only as good as its universality, so we’ll be looking to see how the app fares in beta and beyond.