A number of startups in years past have tried to carve out their own niche in the business networking space under the looming shadow of LinkedIn by offering an alternative way to connect with industry colleagues, often on mobile. But today, a new app called Caliber is offering a slightly different take on the concept: instead of trying to compete with LinkedIn directly, its service offers a complementary tool that lets you chat with your LinkedIn contacts as well as grow your network without being overrun by request spam.
Caliber itself first launched last summer, but initially offered a Tinder-like app for making business connections. That app grew to 20,000 users, but the team realized that it wasn’t quite what people wanted. Users didn’t want to just connect with other interesting people, they wanted to be able to reach their business contacts and message them, explains company co-founder and CEO Andres Blank.