By Marcella McCarthy
While most in-person event companies are struggling during the pandemic, there’s one category that’s booming: dating apps.
According to Match Group, which owns Tinder, Hinge, Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, and Match.com (among others) they’ve seen a 30-40% increase in messaging across their platforms. They’ve also noticed that people are being less picky and broadening their search criteria.
While Match Group usually sees this spike after Labor Day - when people start thinking about finding someone to bear the winter months with - this year, the isolation caused by the pandemic had their apps peaking in July.
Miami-based dating app, Perchance, which was founded in April 2018 by David Gottesmann, has also grown as a result of the pandemic.
“We’ve seen people come back to the app more frequently, and when they come back, their sessions are longer,” said Gottesmann, CEO and co-founder of Perchance.
Perchance differs from other apps on the market by allowing users to connect with people they’ve passed in real life. Perchance is, “The app that turns ‘the one that got away’ into the one,” as their slogan goes.
So, let’s say you were at a bar, and you smiled at a cute girl or guy but didn’t have a chance to talk to them. If both you and the other person have Perchance installed on your phones, you can connect later. Perchance shows you all your “moments” (a.k.a the people you’ve passed) in chronological order. Each user can create a profile with multiple photos and details about themselves.
“There are no other dating apps that let you go back in time,” Gottesmann said.
Both Gottesmann and his co-founder and COO, Nelly Farra, met their partners on dating apps before founding Perchance. As a result, they shared similar grievances: with other apps, there is a lot of texting, but not a lot of meeting, they say. Gottesmann explained that Perchance primes users to meet.
To adapt to social distancing Perchance has increased the radius in which it connects you with people in real life. They’ve acquired about 10,500 users since time of launch.
Prior to founding Perchance, Gottesmann founded a sports agency where he repped top talent. He later earned his J.D. from the University of Miami and worked as an attorney. Farra, is a veteran of the startup world, having served as director of Babson’s WIN Lab here in Miami and also worked in business development for eMmerge Americas.
Funding: Perchance raised a $300k friends and family round to launch the app, and are in the middle of raising a pre-seed round of $1 million, of which they’ve secured $100,000 by lead investor Candor Ventures. The $1 million round will go toward funding a new release of the product in spring 2021 while also launching the product nationally. Perchance is currently active in South Florida and the NYC tri-state area.
Team: Gottesmann and Farra are the only full-time employees. They have several contractors they work with.
Target Market: Singles 18-39 currently in South Florida and the NYC tri-state area, leading into the heavily single markets of Atlanta, Washington D.C., Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston.
Business Model: Perchance is currently pre-revenue. Their business model is multi-pronged. They plan to make money off of subscriptions and advertising.
Biggest Need from Miami Tech Community: “We’re looking for investors to become part of The Perchance Family. We greatly appreciate investors who not only believe in the problem we are trying to solve but can also add to the company. We are interested in having singles download and use Perchance as well! Furthermore we’re seeking strategic partnerships and future talent for our team,” said Farra in an email.