CoFoundersLab, a matchmaking service for startup founders along the same lines as FounderDating, but which previously served different markets, is expanding through the acquisition of two competitors. The company is announcing today that it has acquired the West Coast-based TechCofounder.com as well as the East Coast-based FounderMatchup.com.
Originally, CoFoundersLab’s key differentiator between it and much of the competition was the markets it served. While FounderDating got its start on the West Coast, for example, running regular meetups in Seattle and San Francisco before its expansion efforts, CoFoundersLab came from the other direction – the East Coast. The West Coast is also home to other organizations that try to connect local founders with each other, including SVForum, First Tuesday and Hackers and Founders, to name a few.
The acquisition of Boston-based FounderMatchup came back in May, when CoFoundersLab announced at a local event that it had merged with/acquired the site and had hired a full-time employee to help grow its presence in the area. FounderMatchup.com has since gone offline. TechCofounder, a Craigslist-style site for software engineers, is still online at the time of writing, however.
Terms of the deal involving either property were not disclosed, but in both cases, CoFoundersLab acquired all of the IP, product, members and revenue stream. FounderMatchup was a New England-based startup with a few thousand users. TechCofounder was West Coast-based with global membership and had the largest profile base for technical founders of any other platform.
Maryland-based CoFoundersLab launched its site in November 2011, and recently emerged out of the new Washington D.C. tech accelerator known as The Fort, which debuted its inaugural class back in March. Like its competition, CoFoundersLab aims to bring a Match.com or eHarmony-like dynamic to help entrepreneurs find partners. This serves a big need in the industry, because investors generally prefer funding teams over individuals. To date, CEO Shahab Kaviani estimates it has matched “dozens” of founders. “Cofounders are connecting with each other, starting business and getting them launched, which is the ultimate measure of success,” he says. “One such match is now in TechStars with the startup they built after meeting through CoFoundersLab.”
Users who sign up can create a profile page, browse the profiles of others on the site and attend local meetups to network in person. The company charges a $50 fee per successful match, but the fee is waived for those who join the meetups. For comparison purposes, FounderDating doesn’t charge a fee to apply, but does now charge a fee to join once invited. CoFoundersLab is also an open service, not an invite-only one, it should be noted.
Currently, CoFoundersLab holds meetups in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Boulder, Los Angeles, New York City and Vancouver, and says more geographies are on the horizon. According to the website, the next target markets include Silicon Valley, Seattle, Portland, Austin, Atlanta, Boulder, Chicago, N.C., and N.Y.
Updated 12:56 PM ET with additional details regarding the acquisitions via Shahab Kaviani.