Chalk one up for Jigsaw, an “anti-superficial” dating app that has scored £2.7 million ($3.7 million) in seed funding to put towards U.S. enlargement. The spherical is led by a lead technology firm for online dating corporations, referred to as The Relationship Corp., with backing from angel traders within the U.S. and U.Okay. “primarily” within the tech sector.
As the startup’s title suggests, Jigsaw provides just a little cryptic enjoyable to the transactional enterprise of swiping pictures of different singles seeking dating chemistry in a bid to provide a much less superficial expertise.
Albeit their (patented) anti-superficial twist seems a tad gimmicky at first blush: They actually superimpose a digital jigsaw over the faces of customers, with items eliminated steadily the extra you work together — and the full face solely revealed after a pre-set quantity of in-app engagement.
Digital filters are additionally banned, per the app’s FAQ; they solely need “real” selfies. So no cute cat ears, and so on.
They’ve obtained a number of extra tips up their sleeve however don’t need to provide a public reveal of the deliberate options we guessed had been coming simply but (however, effectively, a fast look on the app and it’s principally a half completed jigsaw puzzle of their product roadmap).
The U.Okay. startup — which was based again in 2016 by a few associates, Alex Durrant (co-founder and CEO) and Max Adamski (co-founder and CPO), once they had been at college (and discovering the dating app scene frustratingly superficial, as they inform it, occurring to give up their jobs and go all in on the venture in 2018) — launched its puzzle-faced dating expertise in London in 2019; and opened up to the U.S. in November final yr.
Jigsaw has some 150,000+ registered customers throughout these two markets at this level, with 50,000 within the U.S. — and an urge for food to step issues up over the pond now that they’re flush with new funds.
Durrant says the group is hoping to hit half 1,000,000 U.S. customers within the subsequent six months. They reckon there’s a development towards much less superficial swiping within the American dating app scene that Jigsaw is well-positioned to faucet into.
“We’re not insane and think people look better with puzzles over their faces, I promise, the puzzle is our middle finger to the superficial dating industry,” he says. “It exists as you say to encourage more meaningful/sustained interactions and to help users look beyond the looks.”
Currently, Jigsaw’s face-shielding mechanism includes a puzzle made up of 16 items. All pictures begin with one piece eliminated “so you get a sneak peek”. Another then comes off when a consumer likes (matches with) the individual so at first of chatting there are two items revealed.
More items are eliminated because the pair mutually change messages till there’s no extra puzzle bits left. Hopefully you additionally received’t run out of dialog at that time.
“Over six messages each (12 in total) is what we believe is the minimum needed for a meaningful conversation,” says Durrant. “That’s why the jigsaw puzzle currently unveils fully after seven messages are exchanged (14 pieces revealed in total), revealing the face underneath. This number has been tested and this is the current sweet spot for our users.”
Jigsaw isn’t distinctive within the idea of protecting facial visuals to encourage dating app customers to do extra chatting and fewer senseless swiping. There are a complete bunch of “slower reveal” type twists geared toward decreasing “dating app fatigue” — as one other app, INYN, which additionally limits the speed of the profile reveal, places it.
Another app which blurs customers’ pictures till they do some chatting is Taffy. There’s additionally Muslim matchmaking app Veil — which gives a “digital veil” function (aka an opaque filter) that it applies to all profile pictures, female and male, till a mutual match is made.
Other “anti-superficial” dating apps, like Willow, strive a Q&A mode strategy — getting customers to reply questions to see extra pictures. The listing goes on.
Still, Jigsaw has provide you with maybe essentially the most visually apparent (and gamified) twist on this slow-reveal format. And being so instantly, effectively, apparent, it’d make its “slow reveal” twist stick for longer than the common “love is blind” different dating app.
Its seed funding isn’t about shopping for customers, both. We made certain to examine.
The Relationship Corp. does provide consumer acquisition/site visitors technology providers to dating apps — together with these it invests in — however in Jigsaw’s case the funding is a straight fairness funding, per Durrant. So it’s at the least sounding assured in its capability to develop.
“They’re super low-key but are known in the industry,” says Durrant of the lead seed investor. “Steve Happas their CEO is ex-Match and… sits on our advisory board [as part of the investment]. We had an option to work with them to acquire users but instead, they are supporting our internal team in an advisory capacity.”