French dating app Happn just raised a $14 million Series B round from Idinvest with participation from Alven Capital, DN Capital, Raine Ventures and business angels, such as Fabrice Grinda, David Wolfson and Gil Penchina. Previously, the company had raised an $8 million Series A round.
As a reminder, Happn uses your phone’s location to show you potential matches. Every time you cross someone’s path, this person’s profile will be added to the top of your feed. Then, you can like people and potentially start chatting with them.
You can call it a Tinder-like app, but it uses a different mechanism to find potential matches. Happn is based on serendipity and real life interactions. Every person you see in the app was right next to you at some point during the day.
The more you scroll, the further back in time you go. And when someone catches your attention, you can like him or her. If there is a mutual interest, just like on Tinder, you can start chatting for free. But on Happn, you can also buy credits to start chatting even if there is no match.
Does it sound too simple? Happn now has 6 million users in 25 cities around the world. The next step for the company is Asian expansion. And of course, the company will grow so you can expect new features pretty soon.
I profiled Happn last year. Everything in my previous post is still true, except that the company’s metrics have exploded from 200,000 users to 6 million today. I couldn’t have predicted such an impressive growth rate.
And this is key to understanding the company’s success. Dating apps live and die with usage numbers. If nobody signs up to a service like Happn, then you won’t find anyone in the app. That’s why there are many ads on Facebook and on billboards for dating apps and websites. And that’s also why dating is a capital-intensive industry. Happn knows all of this very well, and I can’t wait to see them expand to more cities and build a solid, independent dating tech company.