Tonight is a new dating app optimized for real dates
When Whim launched two years ago, it was based on a straightforward idea: What if a dating app was focused on enabling real dates, rather...
Company pioneering the next evolution of online dating
12,000 registered profiles as of Oct. 2016/ Growing 20% month-over-month
$2+ billion growing market with proven revenue models
People spend most of their time and energy swiping and texting, instead of connecting face-to-face. The majority of users want dates, but apps force them to play a game of matching, messaging, scheduling, and waiting. This leads to widespread frustration, high user churn, and a sentiment commonly known as “dating app fatigue.”
The chat-centric model is a relic from the 1990s. In 2016, technology-driven meetup coordination is not only possible, but also expected from a generation of mobile app users who get almost everything “on demand.” Whim uses scheduling tools, matching and venue algorithms to set users up on dates with the people they want to meet, at a time and place that's convenient for them.
Whim is the only app that genuinely prioritizes meaningful, real-life interactions. 70% of matches on Whim result in actual dates, versus less than 11% on other apps:
Whim makes dates happen based on when and where you're free, and whom you want to meet. Simply:
Open the app
Indicate when you're free
Match with someone you like
Whim takes care of the rest!
Whim schedules your date and alerts both of you via text message. Upon opening the app, you find a recommendation for a specific cocktail bar, wine bar, or cafe located roughly equidistant from the two of you, as well as your date’s contact information so that you can be in touch just to confirm the details. Seamlessly, you find yourself out on a real-life date in as little as a few hours later -- without any significant work or buildup.
Social science experts agree that other dating apps’ emphasis on predictive matching algorithms and virtual online interactions is misguided. Along with frustrated singles everywhere, they too are calling for a solution that puts the emphasis back on in-person interactions.
We started working on Whim in 2014, when we realized that the current slew of dating apps was actually causing significant frustration for relationship-seeking singles. A lot of hard work, testing, iterating, consulting with experts, user interviews, and research went into building our MVP (minimum viable product). Dave McClure’s 500 Startups accelerator recognized the value in our first product and admitted us into Batch 10, in spite of being much earlier stage than they typically allow into their program.
After 500 Startups’ coaching and continued iteration, Whim launched in the App Store to San Francisco and New York City in 2015. The app instantly gained organic traction, accumulating thousands of users in those cities based purely on earned media and word-of-mouth. 3,500 users signed up for Whim in its first month, and we quickly earned nods in TechCrunch, Fortune, ProductHunt, Los Angeles Times, and more.
For the past year, we have continued to grow almost exclusively through organic sharing. Our metrics tell the story:
Direct feedback proves that we are headed in the right direction:
Building upon the success of Whim 1.0, we’re currently hard at work on our second major release. Among countless improvements based on both qualitative and quantitative data from our users, Whim 2.0 will include:
A new subscription revenue model and a move toward more premium experience positioning
Built-in incentives for dating follow-through and accountable behavior, and disincentives against “flaking”
A simplified scheduling process, balancing the need for planning with the desire for spontaneity
Brand new UI/UX by one of the Valley’s top designers
Whim has already accomplished impressive traction with very little funding to date. We’ve been covered by major media outlets and have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our users.
Online dating is a $2+ billion industry in the U.S. alone, growing 14% year-over-year. Internationally, the space is still relatively unsaturated and has even greater potential for growth.
Our mission is to influence dating and social culture in a positive way. We believe people are better off meeting each other in real life versus endlessly swiping, texting on their phones, and going nowhere. By investing in Whim, you’re supporting a movement of love and genuine connection.
Your investment in Whim will allow us to:
If we exceed our minimum fundraising goal, our plan is to:
Accelerate growth and acquisition
Release Whim for Android
Investing in this crowdfunding opportunity through Republic allows you to be an angel investor in Whim under the provisions of Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (known as the “JOBS Act”) and Regulation Crowdfunding. The financial instrument for your investment chiamata a Crowd Safe. With a Crowd Safe, your investment automatically converts into stock when Whim undergoes a liquidity event - in other words, when we are acquired or have an IPO.
The valuation cap specifies the maximum valuation under which your investment will convert into shares. Whim's valuation cap for this round is $5 million. If the company is acquired for less than the valuation cap amount, the discount provision gives you a discount to the valuation. The discount provision for this round is 20%.
I have been involved in the online dating space - as both a product designer and a customer - for nearly a decade. Two years out of Stanford and single in San Francisco, I began in 2006 as a user of Match.com. From early on, I lamented the time and energy wasted in moving past the messaging zone and into the real-life zone. On a regular basis, I found myself spending over an hour a day managing messages with potential dates, with only a fraction of those conversations culminating in actual meetups. When I did eventually meet these people, most of them disappointed after the back-and-forth text messaging buildup.
In a day and age where mobile technology enables us to get almost anything “on-demand,” I wondered why dating apps still felt so exhausting and inefficient. In search of answers, I founded my first dating startup in 2008, earned a nod as a TechCrunch50 nominee, and went on later to lead product development at OKCupid Labs. In 2014, armed with learnings from that first venture and my time at OkCupid, I took the entrepreneurial leap again. I rounded up an awesome development team, built our MVP, got into 500 Startups, and officially launched the following year.
My team's philosophy – which is supported by sociologists like Eric Klinenberg and Eli Finkel (not to mention your grandmother, by the way!) – is that face-to-face interaction (not algorithms, and not texting), is the best way to get to know someone and see if there’s chemistry. With that in mind, we go to work every day with a goal to make getting to that meaningful in-person moment as efficient, delightful, and worthwhile as possible.
These days I'm single, and I love using Whim to meet people in a way that feels effective, fun and even a bit magical. I'm excited to be crowdfunding for this company. This is modern dating, funded by the people, for the people! I hope you'll join us.
We wanted to share this recent email from one of our users:
Let's create more stories like this one!
The smallest investment amount that Whim is accepting.
The largest investment amount that Whim is accepting.
Whim needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup,
meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup, meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
$50,000 – $500,000
Whim needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount Whim is willing
to raise is $500K.
Whim is a new mobile dating app that sends users on real-life dates instead of aimless swiping, meaningless matching and endless texting. Whim is currently available for download in the iOS App Store.
After creating a profile, you tell Whim when and where you’re free, browse profiles, and choose the people you’d like to meet. As soon as two of you with mutual interest have your schedules align, the app selects a local bar or cafe and sets you up for a date. Once the date is set, matched users are encouraged to get in touch and confirm plans with each other using their personal phone numbers. After the date, Whim asks you for feedback about your date (which is seen only by Whim admins, not by your date).
Other dating apps are essentially match-and-message platforms that give users a way to chat with one another. It turns out that matches on these apps result in actual dates less than 11 percent of the time! Users waste significant time and energy on conversations that lead nowhere, or that ultimately disappoint.
Whim, on the other hand, sets users up for real-life meetings right away. It's the first and only app to offer a true dating service -- taking matches offline and turning virtual connections into real-life dates.
Whim doesn’t have a messaging feature because texting is an inefficient -- and mostly ineffective -- way to get to know someone. Nearly 80 percent of messages on other dating apps go unanswered altogether, and it takes an average of two weeks of back-and-forth messaging to get to a real-life date. Additionally, time spent messaging leads people to build up a false sense of rapport that often leads to unrealistic expectations.
Once Whim users match, they do generally contact each other via one another’s cell phone numbers. However, since the date is already arranged, their messaging tends to be efficient, direct, and limited to confirming plans that are already established.
Whim is deeply committed to ensuring that our users have a safe and enjoyable experience dating through our app. We hand-screen every profile before it is approved and accepted into the community. In addition, should there be any reports of bad behavior via our app's built-in feedback feature, we are able to respond immediately and remove the offending user from the system.
It's currently free to download Whim and go on dates! Users can choose to upgrade to Star Membership to take advantage of premium features. For example, “Connect Now” is a feature that lets you get in touch to plan dates with your matches directly even if your busy schedules don’t align in the app right away.
Absolutely. Whim users can choose to view and engage with either or both genders.
Currently, Whim earns revenue through in-app purchases of recurring monthly subscriptions that give users access to additional, premium features in the app. A future release of the app may require users to pay a small monthly fee in order to use the service, after first experiencing the app through a free trial.
Our early marketing strategy has focused primarily on earned media (PR), in-app sharing incentives, and word-of-mouth. With additional funding, we will invest in content marketing development as well as paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
Whim is backed by 500 Startups (Dave McClure) and other angel investors.
IAC (Interactive Corp., owner of Match, Tinder, and OkCupid) is an extremely active acquirer in the dating space. Other potential acquirers include eHarmony, Zoosk, Spark Networks, and other dating-focused organizations.
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