What’s up with Bump Technologies?

I just read this week’s Venator Report on venture funding and IPOs and noticed that Bump Technologies received $3M in series A funding from Sequoia Capital. If you’re not familiar with Bump, they make an iPhone app that exchanges contact information between two phones when the parties “bump” their hands together while holding their respective phones. One of many cool apps (such as being able to flip a picture to another phone) that makes the iPhone such a super platform. Here’s the Bump ad:

So my question is, what will Bump do with $3M of venture funding? What is their grand plan? Surely it can’t take that much money to build an iPhone app - otherwise there wouldn’t be the 50,000+ or so that are floating around out there now. But the way Bump works is that it sends your information up to its servers, attempts to match your bump request with the proper bump partner in your location, and then sends your contact information to their iPhone. And vice-versa.

So what Bump gains is your contact information, your Bump partner’s contact information and your location. Now I am sure they have lots of legalese about the “non-use” of this information, but one has to wonder how they will extract value from that information. Currently their app and the service are free, but that model can’t last for long – especially since they now have $3M of Sequoia’s money in their pockets. Granted, it does take money to run the service, even in the “cloud”… It will be interesting to see what happens next with Bump.

On a side note, I also noticed that Layar, the Netherlands company offering location-based/augmented reality services on the iPhone (see my previous post on this topic), also received $1M in funding from “undisclosed investors”.   This will be another interesting one to follow.

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