The mobile phone has transformed quite a bit in the last ten years, but the heart of it — the address book — hasn’t changed much.
Drupe, with brand new funding, is looking to accelerate the evolution of the Phone Book.
The company today announced $3 million in new funding from Canaan Partners Israel and Sweet Capital, a fund that was spun up by the founders of Candy Crush empire King Digital Entertainment, with a premise that’s quite simple.
Drupe is an overlay for Android phones that contextually shows relevant contacts and various modes of communicating with them all with one swipe.
When users swipe from the Drupe widget on the phone, they’re showed the most common contacts in their address book on the left and their most-used social apps on the right.
This includes native apps like the phone and messages, as well as third-party services like Instagram, Gmail, Facebook Messenger, and more. In fact, Drupe has built out 30 integrations since launching in 2015. These include the obvious, communication-based apps, but can also extend to services like Venmo for peer-to-peer payments.
Where communication is concerned, Drupe will let you know that a fellow user is traveling abroad and now may not be the best time for a phone call. Moreover, Drupe can remind you to use a VoIP service instead of the regular phone to keep bills low.
Drupe plans to make money from offering sponsored slots in the integrations area, as well as using location to feature various apps (for example, showing OpenTable when you’re near a restaurant). There is also an opportunity to make money off of mobile vendors and carriers that may want to pre-install Drupe on their devices.
Thus far, however, Drupe is not monetizing.
And then there’s iOS, which doesn’t allow for this type of overlay. Drupe cofounder Barak Witkowski says that Drupe can exist with a very similar user experience as an app on iOS.
Android users can check out Drupe right here.