New York-based S’More, a dating app that focuses on getting to know a person before swiping on them raised US$ 2.1 million in seed funding on 26 January 2021.
Investors: Benson Oak Ventures, Mark Pincus’ Workplay Ventures, Gaingels VC, Loud Capital/Pride Fund, SideCar Angels, AppLovin Chairman Rafael Vivas, Joshua Black of Apollo Management, Plus Grade CEO Ken Harris, Harvard geneticist George Church, former Meet Group CEO John Abbott, former IMAX CEO Brad Weschler, Aaron and Sharon Stern, Justen Stepka/Enterprise Fund, Boston Harbor Angels, Grit Daily CEO Jordan French, Kind.Fund founder Marty Isaac, Craig Mullett and Dating Group.
Purpose of the Funding: The funding is helping S’More to hire a founding team, including chief architect Long Nguyen, head of operations Sneha Ramanchandran, head of product and design Regina Guinto and senior developer David Lichy.
Founded in 2019 by Adam Cohen-Aslatei, S’More stands for “something more” ensures that its users don’t just focus on physical appearance but on other’s personality. The photos are initially blurred and they gradually un-blur as you interact with someone. It also provides a video chat feature that is also blurred initially. Since people have to follow social distancing, S’More is aiming to reduce emotional distancing. The startup launched a redesigned app at the beginning of this month with new features like real-time conversation prompts and the ability to pay to promote your profile.
S’More’s focuses on anti-superficial relationships. The startup claims that it is attracting a real audience, with 160,000 downloads in its first year and “thousands” of paying users. It also experienced a 50% increase in subscriptions after launching the new app version in January.
S’More has signed a production deal with producers Elvia Van Es Oliva and Jack Tarantino, who have past experience working on shows like ‘90 Day Fiancé’. S’More will work with them to produce “anti-superficial” dating content for digital platforms and TV networks. The app is currently live in New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.
What the founder has to say: “I don’t think we’re going back to the way things were. Do you want to meet for a casual encounter on Tinder, or do you want to have a conversation get to know a real person on S’More? Assuming that many people will choose the latter, the next question is How do you make discovery fun? There’s got to be multimedia, video, audio, games, all of those features are part of our product roadmap. S’More will feel like Hinge meets Nextdoor.”
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