Even in the age of LinkedIn profiles and digital addresses, the business card endures.

In almost every place on earth, people exchange contact information using printed rectangles of paper (except, perhaps, in Silicon Valley, and increasingly in China). They can get lost, and most folks don't take the extra step of transferring names and numbers to a digital contacts list.

Sansan Inc. is seeking to change all that. Once business cards are scanned, the Tokyo-based startup analyses them so that people can discover who within a company knows whom. By tracking relationships that are forged every time a card changes hands, the cloud-based software can generate sales leads, or suggest go-betweens for any business deals.