Cape Town start-up finds niche in contact forms - TechCentral

Cape Town start-up finds niche in contact forms

Adrian Stanford

For any business with an online presence, having an easily accessible and feature-rich contact page is vital. A new SA start-up, Formsly, has been launched to tackle this niche market.

The company, which launched commercially in January this year, offers this service — for a small fee.

“Almost all the contact pages you see on sites these days are legacy pages, remnants of forms that were added before the rise of social networking,” says Formsly founder Paul Muller.

Muller, who has been in the Web development game for 10 years, began finding that many of his clients were asking for upgrades to their contact pages. “For many of these customers, I was charging R1 000 to update the pages, and that’s where I got the idea that I could create an application instead and charge a smaller fee for it,” he says.

Formsly is an application that can be plugged into any website. The resulting contact page is not hosted on the user’s site, but rather on Formsly’s servers.

“The engine is ours and data is on our site, but it looks like it comes from their site,” says Muller.

There are a large number of features that users can add to their pages, including Google Maps integration, turn-by-turn navigation, social media profiles, stockists and branch locations and QR code integration.

One of the interesting features is the ability to track e-mails that are linked from the contact page. These can be routed to the relevant departments within a company.

It also has built-in analytics that can track which parts of a company’s website drives most people to the contacts page.

The service comes in two flavours: a free and basic offering, which does not include all the features, and a paid premium plan charged at US$0,99/month, or $9,99/year. Payments are done through PayPal.

The premium service includes the ability to embed a Twitter stream and add other social media profiles.

Formsly business development head Adrian Stanford says the company’s main target market is the US, though SA users will also be able to access the service using a PayPal account.

“The US market is much bigger than SA and most of the interest in the product has come from there,” he says.

Stanford says the decision to use PayPal as a provider for billing was simply because it is the most trusted payment solution available online. “It also means we don’t have to keep users’ financial details,” he says.

The start-up is mainly self-funded by the co-founders. However, Justin Stanford of venture capital firm 4Di Capital is an angel investor in his personal capacity.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral

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  1. Great! Companies in the US are so eager to invite customer interaction and response – this product serves that need so well.

  2. Great concept especially for them as they now have access to all your clients and email addresses from everyone who fills out your customer details form but sites in their system. 🙁

  3. Hi Nedd,

    I can assure that Formsly fully respects the privacy of our users, and their clients’ personal information. We will NEVER redistribute or abuse this information to any extent.

  4. High five , i think you guys will do well. Of course proper privacy policies will have to be put in place. I would feel a little uncomfortable trusting all my clients information to a 3rd party. I hope theres no fine print 🙂

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