Chalk one to Jigsaw, an “anti-superficial” dating app that has earned 2.7 million ($ 3.7 million) in seed funding for US expansion. The round is led by a lead generation company of an online dating company called The Relationship Corp., with “mainly” technology sector support from US and UK angel investors.
As the name of the startup suggests, jigsaw puzzles add a bit of mysterious fun to the transaction business of looking for dating chemistry and swiping photos of other singles to reduce the superficial experience.
Their (patented) anti-superficial twist looks a bit gimmick at first, but literally, the more you manipulate it, the more pieces are gradually removed by overlaying a digital jigsaw puzzle on the user’s face. The entire face is only visible after a preset amount. Of in-app engagement.
Digital filters are also prohibited, according to the app FAQ. They only want “real” selfies. So there are no cute cat ears.
They have some more tricks, but they don’t want to provide a public release of the planned features we’ve guessed they’re still coming (but well, at first glance the app, it’s basically half The completed jigsaw puzzle (of the product roadmap).
British Startup — Founded in 2016 by two friends Alex Durrant (co-founder and CEO) and Max Adamski (co-founder and CPO) while in college (and the dating app scene) I found it frustrating and superficial, as they say, quit my job in 2018 and take full part in the project) — In 2019, I started a dating experience facing puzzles in London. It opened in the United States last November.
Jigsaw puzzles currently have more than 150,000 registered users in these two markets, 50,000 in the United States. And now that we are full of new money, we want to go beyond the pond and strengthen things.
According to Durrant, the team hopes to attack 500,000 US users in the next six months. They believe that the American dating app scene, which is well-positioned for jigsaws, tends to have less superficial swipes.
“We’re insane and I think people look good when they put puzzles on their faces. Puzzles are the middle finger of the superficial dating industry,” he says. “As you say, it exists to encourage more meaningful / lasting interactions and help users see beyond what they look like.”
Currently, the jigsaw’s face protection mechanism includes a puzzle consisting of 16 pieces. All photos start with the removal of one “to get a sneak peak”. Then, when the user likes (matches) that person, another person leaves, so the two parts become apparent at the beginning of the chat.
More pieces will be removed as the pairs exchange messages with each other until there are no more bits in the puzzle. Hopefully there will be no shortage of conversations at that point.
“We believe that each of the six or more messages (12 in total) is the minimum message needed for a meaningful conversation,” says Durrant. “So now, after 7 messages have been exchanged (14 published in total), the jigsaw puzzle has been fully published and the face below has been published. This number has been tested and this is the user. Is the current sweet spot for us. “
Jigsaw puzzles are not unique in the concept of shielding facial visuals and encouraging dating app users to chat more and swipe unknowingly. There are many “slow publishing” style twists aimed at reducing “dating app fatigue”. Another app, INYN, also states that it limits the speed of profile publishing.
Another app that blurs a user’s photo until they chat is Taffy. There is also a Muslim matchmaking app Veil. It provides a digital veil feature (also known as an opaque filter) that applies to all male and female profile pictures until a mutual match is made.
For other “anti-superficial” dating apps like Willow, try the Q & A style approach. Users can answer questions and see more photos. The list continues.
Still, the jigsaw puzzle came up with perhaps the most visually obvious (and gamed) twist in this slow-river format. And soon, well, because it’s obvious, it could be a “slow li beer” twist stick longer than the average “Love Is Blind” alternative dating app.
That seed investment is not a user purchase either. I definitely checked.
Relationship Corp. provides user acquisition / traffic generation services for dating apps, including those that invest, but in the case of Jigsaw, the investment is a direct equity investment, according to Durrant. So at least it sounds like you’re confident in your ability to grow.
“They are very modest, but they are known in the industry,” says lead seed investor Durant. “Their CEO, Steve Happas, is a former match and … joins our advisory board. [as part of the investment].. They had the option of working with them to acquire users, but instead they support the in-house team in an advisory position. “
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