Excl: Mobile dating venture Vee raises $1M in pre-Series A funding from Lightspeed
GetVee Technologies Pvt Ltd, a mobile-based dating venture launched by Nitin Gupta, founder of Coinjoos, an e-commerce platform that was â€‹acquired by HomeShop18.com in 2011, has received $1 million in its pre-Series A round of funding from Lightspeed Ventureâ€‹ â€‹Partners, an early- and growth-stage VC fund.â€‹â€‹
"The capital will be primarily used for product development and team expansion, especially in the engineering department," Gupta told Techcircle.in. "A portion of the funds will also go toward ramping up our marketing activities."
Founded in April this year, the startup offers Vee, a dating app that connects people who are single with others having the same tastes. It essentially helps users find out companions around their area and get into mutual relationships. The company claims that Vee can predict one's approximate location, and based on the algorithms that work on the backend, it recommends people they may like around their area.
For instance, when you see a profile on the app, you can like him/her anonymously. The other person will not get to know about it until he/she likes you back. The app connects you with people only when both the users have liked each other. As soon as you are connected, you can start chatting with them using the app. The interesting thing is that women users can choose to make the chats disappear in 30 seconds (so that they don't have to worry about leaving a trail), and you can connect with multiple persons at a time.
A free app, Vee is currently available on Android as well as iOS platforms. With the app, the company is targeting the youth population within the age group of 18-28. "We have seen more than 50,000 downloads across iOS and Android already. Over 23,000 pairs have been created and around 4.4 million messages exchanged on the platform so far," explained Gupta.
The firm is also looking to monetise the app in the near future by introducing a paid subscription model, wherein it will make a customised match to its premium subscribers and will organise meeting events for them.
Vee is Gupta's third venture. His first, OnGraph Technologies, is a web enterprises solutions firm. The second venture CoinJoos was an e-commerce platform for selling and renting used as well as new books.
Gupta holds a B Tech Degree in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee. In the past, he had worked as general manager at Trilogy Inc., an enterprise software company based in Austin.
Lightspeed is a $675 million fund that is focusing on early- and expansion-stage investments in the consumer, enterprise technology and cleantech spaces in India, the US, Israel and China. The firm has backed more than 200 companies so far.
In May this year, Lightspeed along with DSG Consumer Partners invested $650,000 in OYO Rooms, a marketplace or chain of branded budget rooms.
A bunch of online dating ventures have raised angel funding in the past including TwoMangoes. Another venture backed by Google India chief Rajan Anandan StepOut (earlier Ignighter) was acquired by Twoo last year.