Things are still rolling for the Seattle startup, which continues to focus on improving the online dating experience for women and now has a mobile app in the works.
LikeBright CEO and co-founder Nick Soman told us that his company is now raising a $1 million round, one that would increase total funding to $2.25 million. Rudy Gadre, a well-known Seattle entrepreneur who has been backing several startups as of late, has already joined the round with a $250,000 investment.
Soman wouldn’t divulge too many more details on what’s in store for the 10-person company next year, but he’s clearly bullish on a product he says will help people with a “significantly better way to date.”
“I feel confident we’ll have millions of users around the world in the next year,” Soman said.
LikeBright wants to accelerate the trend of social networks displacing standalone dating sites. Instead of forcing you to create a profile, LikeBright wants to aggregate the information that you already have online at sites like Facebook, and use that to help match those looking for a partner.
There is certainly competition out there that uses social network data in the same way, with apps like Tinder or LuLu. But Soman says LikeBright’s strategy is different — one that is more widespread and crosses borders.
“We have a unique focus on serving people around the world — not just the Seattle or San Francisco smartphone market,” he said. “Our plan is take this approach and prove we can make it work across platforms and geographies. We’ve been lucky to connect with investors and supporters that understand that mission.”
One of the company’s overarching goals is to help users find a second date, rather than a quick hookup.
“We’re not trying to get you 75 first dates with different people,” he said. “I know that is what dating on competing sites can feel like.”
LikeBright, which has seen rapid growth in the past few months, plans to use the fresh funds to hire developers and operations staff. It also will build out a mobile app in 2014.
“It hadn’t made sense to us for a while,” Soman said of the mobile product. “But we feel like we have our head around it now. It’s going to have a differentiated product experience that we think can delight and connect people around the world.”