LA Tech Updates: Open Raven On a Hiring Spree, Tinder's Pandemic Dating Feature

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • Open Raven Adds Three Cloud and Security Veterans to its Team
  • Tinder Tests Video Feature for Pandemic Dating

    Open Raven Adds Three Cloud and Security Veterans to its Team

    Open Raven, a Los Angeles-based company that offers a cloud data security platform, said Thursday that it has expanded its leadership team to include three new cloud and security industry veterans. The move comes weeks after the company announced its second major round of funding.

    Rob Markovich joins the company as its new chief marketing officer from his prior role as chief marketing officer at Wavefront. Alan Buckley has been hired as the senior vice president of sales, finance and operations, from his prior role as the business operations lead at Tanium. Bill Hau will be the new vice president of customer success. Hau has more than 20 years of offensive and defensive cybersecurity operations experience and previously worked at companies including Cylance, Mandiant/FireEye, IBM and McAfee.

    Their hire follows Open Raven's raise of a $15 million Series A round this June — four months after it emerged from stealth to announce seed funding. The round was led by Kleiner Perkins as well as existing investors like Upfront Ventures, bringing its total capital raised to $19.1 million.__

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    Tinder Tests Video Feature for Pandemic Dating

    As COVID puts a pause on dating for many singles, Tinder has rolled out a new video chat feature. The dating app announced Wednesday that users in 13 countries, including four U.S. states, can now try out "Face to Face."

    This is part of Tinder's big sell on a feature Bumble launched last year that has become popular. The video calls "prioritize control and comfort" by prompting users to agree to a set of ground rules (keeping the interaction PG) and letting them disable the video feature at any point. You're also able to leave a report once the video ends.

    "We're looking to better understand how video chat fits in with the overall journey of getting to know someone new," Tinder spokesperson Evan Bonnstetter explained in an email.

    Users in Virginia, Illinois, Georgia and Colorado can meet their matches face-to-face. But the feeling has to be mutual — both parties need to opt-in before the chat switches to a split-screen video call.

    Like Snapchat, the appeal of talking on dating apps lies in anonymity, for some. Plus, chatting on an app relieves the stress of giving out personal information.

    As stay-at-home orders remain in place, virtual dates have become default. Will this last? A Tinder survey of users found that over half of its U.S. users have used the video date function with a match in the past month. Plus, 40% of Gen Z members surveyed who tried video dating said they'd continue using the feature "as a way to decide whether to meet IRL (in real life) in the future — even once their favorite date spot is open again."

    Launched in 2012, Tinder, now boasting over 60 million subscribers, is available in 190 countries and over 40 languages.

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