If you have swiped left on every potential partner in Sydney, Hinge might be the new dating app you are looking for. The app, launched in the U.S. in February 2013, is targeted at a classier audience and uses your Facebook connections and an algorithm to connect you with the right kind of people. Founder and CEO of Hinge Justin McLeod told Mashable the app was started in Washington D.C. using a bunch of his friends, before it spread across most major U.S. cities. Hinge is currently used in 34 cities in the U.S., with the latest launches in the London, Toronto, Mumbai and Sydney.
Alcohol Startups Are Brewing Up VC Cash
A new startup movement brewing in the booze biz has VCs backing liquor delivery services, robotic bartenders, and smartphone breathalyzers — and they’re showing no sign of turning off the tap. Last year, startups in the alcohol industry raised $100 million in funding across 43 venture rounds. This is petty cash compared to the $800 million raised by food startups in 2015 (Delivery Hero’s $586 million round alone far exceeds the total venture money invested in alcohol startups), but a handful of investors are convinced that the alcohol industry warrants its own tech brands. And they’re testing the waters with some early stage capital.
Splash And Loverly Partner To Give Brides Wedding Websites
Brides in this day and age are asking for a lot. Social media tools and event tech have come a long way, giving wedding planners and brides more control over the entire experience of their wedding, from planning to booking vendors to informing guests of the wedding’s Instagram hashtag. But today, Splash and Loverly are partnering to take that experience to a new level, introducing wedding websites. As it stands now, Loverly provides a commerce platform for brides (inspired by the Pinterest layout) that lets brides filter content by color, category, etc. and get things settled for the big day. Splash, on the other hand, has spent the past few years offering free
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Ben Hindman doesn’t consider Splash, his event planning software, a competitor to Eventbrite. To the end user, it certainly feels like one. Both companies power email invites, ticketing, and RSVP lists for all manner of events. But to the customer—the people throwing events and sending the invites—the platforms are different. Where Eventbrite, which has raised $200 million in venture funding and processed more than $3 billion in gross sales, is positioned as a ticketing platform, the much-smaller Splash positions itself as a marketing platform for brands. “I would rather we were lumped with [marketing software company] Hubspot than
Tutoring Marketplace Studypool Snags $1.2 Million
Studypool, a 500 Startups-backed startup offering an online marketplace that connects students with tutors on a per question basis, has just closed on $1.2 million in seed funding, after growing its site to include some 22,000 tutors and nearly double that in terms of student users. The new round, which makes co-founder Richard Werbe the youngest founder ever to raise over a million at 500 Startups, was led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
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Secondhand Shop Twice Now Lets You Pay With Other Retailers’ Gift Cards
In a bid to attract more online shoppers to its secondhand shop, the online consignment store Twice is today introducing a new program that will allow consumers to trade in their unused gift cards from nearly two dozen retailers in exchange for store credit. That means shoppers will be able to use their cards from stores like Macy’s, J.Crew, Gap, Old Navy, Luluemon, Banana Republic and many more in order to buy items on Twice. The company says the cards can hold any amount, and consumers will receive 100% of their value as store credit on its site. For those with unused gift cards from stores with pricier merchandise, using the cards on Twice instead means you may be able to take home more items when you check out. For instance, a $50 J.Crew gift card might only get you one or two items at best, but on Twice, it could go much further.
Tinder Rival Hinge Lands in London
Tinder may hog the headlines with its mobile-first approach to dating, but Hinge has been making inroads with its own take on what a social dating app is all about since its launch in the U.S. last year. After a year of explosive growth that brought in north of $16 million in funding, Hinge is today launching outside the U.S. for the first time, kicking off in London.
Wedding App WedPics Raises $6.5M
“Shark Tank’s” Barbara Corcoran and other investors have backed a popular mobile photo-sharing application called WedPics, designed for use by wedding couples and their guests. The additional funding brings the Raleigh, N.C.-area startup’s total Series B round to $6.5 million, a combination of equity and debt. This is actually the second close on the Series B (the earlier part which we reported back in December), as the round ended up being oversubscribed. The new part includes an additional $2.25 million on top of funds raised previously. Corcoran and her business partner Phil Nadel, a co-founder at Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, both ended up investing personally in WedPics, as well as via their AngelList syndicate. That syndicate included Brad Feld, as well as investors hailing from Twitter and Apple.