NearGroup, a speed dating app, has raised $1.6 million (Rs 10 crore) in a seed round led by Venture Capital firm OpenOcean. The investment round also saw participation from the other investors like Neotribe and Boost VC.
After witnessing a good traction in users from the US, Phillippines, and Vietnam, the company now plans to focus its significant attention on building its reputation in the Indian market. The firm, which currently has about 34 lakhs users, claims that it has been witnessing about footfalls of 5 to 6 lakh new users on the platform every month.
Prashant Pitti, CEO of NearGroup told ET that there is an orthoxody for using the dating app and women do not wish to have an open profile on those apps so they have come up with something different which makes our app quite different from others altogether. When a guy makes his profile on our app messenger, his interests and thoughts can be viewed by women but women profile cannot be viewed by guy’s its kind of a swayamvar for women.
In addition to this new feature, the firm has also got an India-specific marketing team onboard. It plans to increase the team size as its Indian user base grows. The firm claims that it has already tested out this Indian specific feature among 15,000 users and have witnessed an increase in usage.
“The matching, in this case, is not done on the basis of photographs or selfies, but goes deeper to look into individual interests and stories,’ added Pitti. The company focuses on being an alternative to Tinder’s image-swiping culture, a platform where users can write their thoughts and interests anonymously to get nearby chat requests. However, during their private chat, their profile and image gets revealed.
Of late, a lot of similar startups have got funded.
In Sept, matchmaking app for the differently-abled Inclov raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-Series A funding round.
In March, dating app Matchbox was selected by social media giant Facebook for its early-stage mentorship programme FbStart. In February, DoubleYou Technologies Pvt Ltd, the Gurugram-based company behind dating app Woo, acquired Los Angeles-based Dus, for an undisclosed sum.
Bangaluru-based matchmaking app Aisle raised an undisclosed amount in fresh funding. In December last year, Shaadi.com, operated by People Interactive India Pvt. Ltd, acquired Frivil, a mobile-based dating app owned by Delhi-based Thrill Pte Ltd.