Blind Dating, Creator Accounting and Social Traveling: Meet Snap Yellow’s LA-Based Startups
Online dating startup Blink Date is testing the notion that love is truly blind.
Unlike Tinder and Bumble, Los Angeles-based Blink doesn’t show singles any photos of potential matches right away. Instead, the app pairs users in 10-minute, audio-only speed dates. It’s not until after the conversations that singles can see three unidentified pictures and tell Blink what they think of them. The app, still in beta testing, matches users only if there’s mutual interest.
“Through voice dates, we're enabling singles to actually find and build authentic connections,” Blink co-founder and CEO Taly Matiteyahu told potential investors on Wednesday.
Blink was one of eight startups—including three from Los Angeles—to pitch themselves to investors during Snap’s Yellow Accelerator Demo Day. The event is part of a 12-week curriculum run by the social media giant, which mentors early-stage startups on topics ranging from business strategy to fundraising. Snap invests $150,000 in each firm (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA).
The accelerator’s fifth cohort covered a wide range of tech, from travel to gaming to online dating. Snap announced Wednesday that its next accelerator class starting this fall will focus exclusively on augmented reality—a strategic priority for the social media company.
Other L.A. startups in the current cohort included Bump, a fintech platform for the creator economy. Founded last year, the company helps creators track revenue from multiple sources, monitor expenses, access credit and manage their crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The startup has a waitlist of 350 users who’d pay $399 per year once the platform goes live, co-founder and CEO James Jones said.
“The lack of accurate tracking of revenue means that creators are denied access to traditional loans or traditional forms of credit because a creator’s revenue is considered too unstable, too unpredictable, and therefore they're too risky,” Jones said of the problem Bump seeks to solve.
Los Angeles-based Well Traveled is creating a paid membership club for travelers to connect and share recommendations. Founder Samantha Patil said members are using the platform more like a social tool rather than a trip-planning app, so users are logged in even when they aren’t about to book a getaway. The startup’s roughly 1,200 members are paying $150 per year.
“Consumers are craving communities that help connect them to each other and create knowledge sharing amongst their peers,” Patil said.
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