Tonight is a new dating app optimized for real dates
When Whim launched two years ago, it was based on a straightforward idea: What if a dating app was focused on enabling real dates, rather...
TLDR: We’ve got a brand new app, and we’re fundraising! Please forward this email to potential investors.
Last year, we put our flagship app Whim in maintenance mode in service of the greater potential we saw for our second app, “Tonight.” Based on the same “no messaging, seamless dates” concept, we built Tonight from the ground up with an entirely new codebase and design. Tonight simplifies the UX, removes social and logistical frictions, and streamlines a true “dating on demand” experience. Tonight is THE app for singles who want to cut to the chase and make meaningful connections in real life.
Positive early feedback/traction for Tonight:
It’s time to fundraise and market Tonight to the moon:
We’re seeking institutional funding to launch and grow Tonight into the next nationally recognized dating app. In the current landscape, existing apps follow a “do-it-yourself” paradigm for dating that relies heavily on user-to-user messaging. To date, no app has hit the mainstream as a logistics-focused service delivering actual, real-life experiences. Our automated dating-as-a-service angle is where Tonight will disrupt the industry and provide superior value.
• CEO is a former Product GM from OkCupid Labs with 7+ years of industry experience.
• MVP is built and tested; team's execution is proven
• Revenue potential from both users and partner businesses
• Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) is actively acquiring in the space; recent targets valued at $500MM+
• Online dating is a $2.5B industry in the U.S. alone and growing at 5% per year
What to do right now:
I’m writing to ask your help in getting this opportunity in front of the right people. Forward this email to institutional investors and corporations who might be a good fit.
Thanks for your support! Together, we can build technology that enriches our real-life relationships, communities, and experiences.
Eve Peters, Founder/CEO @ Tonight
Tonight! New York has arrived! The product looks amazing; now we just need to get tens of thousands of New York singles to discover it. We'd love your support in our launch. Here are super easy ways you can help spread the word:
What's new in this app?
Based on learnings from Whim, Tonight furthers our company's philosophy of "magic, not messaging" by making getting out on dates simpler, more efficient and more fun than ever before. With Tonight, simply sign up before 6 pm when you are free for a date that night. Browse profiles, heart the ones you want to meet, and when you match - Tonight sets you two up at a cool local spot that very evening.
How is this different from Whim?
We built Tonight from scratch - it's a completely new design, codebase, and user experience. It is vastly simplified, for the better. We took away features that distracted users from the main premise in Whim, and focused on perfecting the core experience in Tonight.
When will Tonight expand beyond NYC?
As soon as we get real momentum and traction in New York, we'll expand to additional cities. The most important priority right now is proving this new model and product in our first market.
You can check out the app here. Thank you, Republic investors and friends, for your continued support!
I'm excited to announce that we're beta testing our new app TONIGHT with select early adopters in New York City. We'd love your feedback as well as your help debugging! Sign up for early access at http://thetonightapp.com.
Dear Whim Investors and Friends,
I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the spring! Here’s a not-so-brief update to let you know what’s happening at Whim. The TLDR is we’re going to sunset our current app Whim, and replace it with an entirely new app and brand called Tonight.
Development of Tonight
Since raising $250k through crowdfunding and angel investment this past January, we’ve been heads-down working on the new app “Tonight”. This is an initiative we began alongside continued iteration on Whim in the latter half of 2016 and went full-time on this year, as it became increasingly clear that the changes we would need to make in order for Whim to thrive were so significant that it made more sense to start fresh, from both a technical and product perspective. Short-term pain, long-term gain.
Tonight is essentially Whim 2.0 (or 3.0, if you count our very first web-based prototype launched in Los Angeles three years ago), but is going to be a distinct product and brand that will replace Whim in the App Store. Tonight maintains the fundamental philosophy of getting people out to meet in real life quickly and directly, but the execution is significantly different. Based on over a year’s worth of data and feedback from Whim users, we’ve changed everything - onboarding, profile viewing and liking, the matching algorithm, the engagement notifications, incentives for date follow-through, the revenue model, the UX flow, the look and feel, the way we moderate and cohort the users, the messaging, and most importantly, the basic process of getting a date. Quite simply, Tonight eliminates the concept of planning for the week ahead, and is all about meeting up with someone tonight.
An irony here is that when I first conceived of Whim in 2014, the tagline was, in fact, Go on a Date Tonight. Along the way, we developed the impression that planning dates ahead for the week would make everything bigger and better for our business and our users - but in the end it turned out to make the user experience cumbersome and undependable, instead of easy and reliable. I believe this major flaw has stood and would continue to stand in the way of Whim ever really taking off. Whim was meant to simplify your dating life, and sometimes it did, but too often it was complicated, involved tricky planning, and ultimately a lot of flaking too.
With Tonight, we are working with, not against, the rising social culture of “organized spontaneity.” We’re enabling people to seek and quickly find a suitable new friend or potential romantic partner to meet that very evening, with the added ease of having a nice venue already picked out for them. Plans can be made within a few hours of the event, so that it’s spontaneous, though not instant. (An instant meetup dating app would tend more towards hookups and appeal less to relationship seekers).
With so much discussion about the ways that dating apps are changing dating culture and changing the way singles treat one another (and many say not for the better), I have been thinking about the responsibility and privilege we have in contributing to this ecosystem. To that end, we’re designing our new product with an intention not only to help people get together in real life efficiently, but also to encourage good citizenship and meaningful, authentic connections between them.
In about two months we should be ready to beta test Tonight in a single neighborhood market. Following that will be the official launch of Tonight, available throughout the U.S. but with an initial focus in select geographic markets. Eventually, we hope to expand internationally.
What will happen to Whim the app
As of April we have stopped investing in marketing and product development for Whim; it’s in maintenance mode. It’s holding steady at around 3k monthly active users, with the majority of user activity in New York City. There is some revenue, but it’s not significant, nor is it growing. Since our launch in August 2015, we’ve registered over 20,000 users across the U.S., and we’ll do everything we can to re-engage these users and send them over to Tonight once launched.
We’ll go out to raise additional funding as soon as we can prove traction with Tonight.
I returned to Buenos Aires last month to spend in-person time with our software engineers Juan and Hernan. I continue to be inspired by their creativity, technical talent, and dedication to our mission. It was a great trip - we energized each other and engaged in forward-looking conversations as a group that are harder to come by over our usual video chats. Here’s a photo of us along with their partners at a team dinner.
It’s also been fantastic to work on the new app with the help of Bay Area designer Donald Johns (head of app design at Ever). He’s brilliant at what he does, and his contributions are going to be invaluable to our success.
I continue to enjoy meaningful support from advisors at 500 Startups, the team at Republic, Parker Thompson, Prerna Gupta, and Nisan Gabbay - as well as fellow founders in the relationships/dating space: Ellen Huerta (founder of Mend), Marcie Rogo (co-founder of Stitch), Stephanie Volftsun (founder of Bubby), and Josh Benjamin (founder of Lifechime).
How You Can Help
$$$. Additional funding would enable us to hire more engineers, accelerate development, and amplify our PR & marketing power. We already have two engineers we’d love to hire and who would love to work with us (one in Buenos Aires and one in SF), but don’t have the funds to hire them. If you know any people or institutions who are interested in getting in on the ever-growing $2.5 billion dating space, let me know.
Influencers. Are you connected to a celebrity or influencer who would align well with our new brand and be an advocate for it in exchange for a piece of the company? Let me know. Aziz Ansari is the dream celebrity partner because of his writing and performance about modern romance.
Engage. Hit the Comment button and share an idea you think would be helpful!
Dear Investors and Friends of Whim,
2017 is racing along and seeing as it's March already, I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know about our progress and goings-on at Whim.
1) Thanks to momentum from the Republic campaign, our monthly active users have more than doubled since pre-campaign numbers.
2) We're seeing traction across new cities. Our first main markets were NYC and SF. Now we're seeing dates happen in LA, Chicago, Philly, Washington, D.C., and Boston.
3) We've raised additional funding beyond the Republic round from various angels who contacted us after the crowdfunding period closed. We will continue accepting new investments under these terms until the end of March.
4) We're heads-down in development of Whim 2.0. Our new product will simplify the user experience, increase follow-through and accountability, and generate greater real-life value for users.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. Hope your year is off to a love-filled and whimsical start!
Founder & CEO
Company pioneering the next evolution of online dating
12,000 registered profiles as of Oct. 2016/ Growing 20% month-over-month
$2+ billion growing market with proven revenue models
People spend most of their time and energy swiping and texting, instead of connecting face-to-face. The majority of users want dates, but apps force them to play a game of matching, messaging, scheduling, and waiting. This leads to widespread frustration, high user churn, and a sentiment commonly known as “dating app fatigue.”
The chat-centric model is a relic from the 1990s. In 2016, technology-driven meetup coordination is not only possible, but also expected from a generation of mobile app users who get almost everything “on demand.” Whim uses scheduling tools, matching and venue algorithms to set users up on dates with the people they want to meet, at a time and place that's convenient for them.
Whim is the only app that genuinely prioritizes meaningful, real-life interactions. 70% of matches on Whim result in actual dates, versus less than 11% on other apps:
Whim makes dates happen based on when and where you're free, and whom you want to meet. Simply:
Open the app
Indicate when you're free
Match with someone you like
Whim takes care of the rest!
Whim schedules your date and alerts both of you via text message. Upon opening the app, you find a recommendation for a specific cocktail bar, wine bar, or cafe located roughly equidistant from the two of you, as well as your date’s contact information so that you can be in touch just to confirm the details. Seamlessly, you find yourself out on a real-life date in as little as a few hours later -- without any significant work or buildup.
Social science experts agree that other dating apps’ emphasis on predictive matching algorithms and virtual online interactions is misguided. Along with frustrated singles everywhere, they too are calling for a solution that puts the emphasis back on in-person interactions.
We started working on Whim in 2014, when we realized that the current slew of dating apps was actually causing significant frustration for relationship-seeking singles. A lot of hard work, testing, iterating, consulting with experts, user interviews, and research went into building our MVP (minimum viable product). Dave McClure’s 500 Startups accelerator recognized the value in our first product and admitted us into Batch 10, in spite of being much earlier stage than they typically allow into their program.
After 500 Startups’ coaching and continued iteration, Whim launched in the App Store to San Francisco and New York City in 2015. The app instantly gained organic traction, accumulating thousands of users in those cities based purely on earned media and word-of-mouth. 3,500 users signed up for Whim in its first month, and we quickly earned nods in TechCrunch, Fortune, ProductHunt, Los Angeles Times, and more.
For the past year, we have continued to grow almost exclusively through organic sharing. Our metrics tell the story:
Direct feedback proves that we are headed in the right direction:
Building upon the success of Whim 1.0, we’re currently hard at work on our second major release. Among countless improvements based on both qualitative and quantitative data from our users, Whim 2.0 will include:
A new subscription revenue model and a move toward more premium experience positioning
Built-in incentives for dating follow-through and accountable behavior, and disincentives against “flaking”
A simplified scheduling process, balancing the need for planning with the desire for spontaneity
Brand new UI/UX by one of the Valley’s top designers
Whim has already accomplished impressive traction with very little funding to date. We’ve been covered by major media outlets and have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our users.
Online dating is a $2+ billion industry in the U.S. alone, growing 14% year-over-year. Internationally, the space is still relatively unsaturated and has even greater potential for growth.
Our mission is to influence dating and social culture in a positive way. We believe people are better off meeting each other in real life versus endlessly swiping, texting on their phones, and going nowhere. By investing in Whim, you’re supporting a movement of love and genuine connection.
Your investment in Whim will allow us to:
If we exceed our minimum fundraising goal, our plan is to:
Accelerate growth and acquisition
Release Whim for Android
Investing in this crowdfunding opportunity through Republic allows you to be an angel investor in Whim under the provisions of Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (known as the “JOBS Act”) and Regulation Crowdfunding. The financial instrument for your investment chiamata a Crowd Safe. With a Crowd Safe, your investment automatically converts into stock when Whim undergoes a liquidity event - in other words, when we are acquired or have an IPO.
The valuation cap specifies the maximum valuation under which your investment will convert into shares. Whim's valuation cap for this round is $5 million. If the company is acquired for less than the valuation cap amount, the discount provision gives you a discount to the valuation. The discount provision for this round is 20%.
I have been involved in the online dating space - as both a product designer and a customer - for nearly a decade. Two years out of Stanford and single in San Francisco, I began in 2006 as a user of Match.com. From early on, I lamented the time and energy wasted in moving past the messaging zone and into the real-life zone. On a regular basis, I found myself spending over an hour a day managing messages with potential dates, with only a fraction of those conversations culminating in actual meetups. When I did eventually meet these people, most of them disappointed after the back-and-forth text messaging buildup.
In a day and age where mobile technology enables us to get almost anything “on-demand,” I wondered why dating apps still felt so exhausting and inefficient. In search of answers, I founded my first dating startup in 2008, earned a nod as a TechCrunch50 nominee, and went on later to lead product development at OKCupid Labs. In 2014, armed with learnings from that first venture and my time at OkCupid, I took the entrepreneurial leap again. I rounded up an awesome development team, built our MVP, got into 500 Startups, and officially launched the following year.
My team's philosophy – which is supported by sociologists like Eric Klinenberg and Eli Finkel (not to mention your grandmother, by the way!) – is that face-to-face interaction (not algorithms, and not texting), is the best way to get to know someone and see if there’s chemistry. With that in mind, we go to work every day with a goal to make getting to that meaningful in-person moment as efficient, delightful, and worthwhile as possible.
These days I'm single, and I love using Whim to meet people in a way that feels effective, fun and even a bit magical. I'm excited to be crowdfunding for this company. This is modern dating, funded by the people, for the people! I hope you'll join us.
We wanted to share this recent email from one of our users:
Let's create more stories like this one!
Special badge on your Whim profile, our heartfelt gratitude, and a mention on our website
Early access to Whim 2.0 + special badge on your Whim profile, our heartfelt gratitude, and a mention on our website
Set of Whim stickers + early access to Whim 2.0 + special badge on your Whim profile, our heartfelt gratitude, and a mention on our website
3 months of Whim Star Membership + set of Whim stickers + early access to Whim 2.0 + special badge on your Whim profile, our heartfelt gratitude, and a mention on our website
Lifetime of Whim Star Membership + set of Whim stickers + early access to Whim 2.0 + special badge on your Whim profile, our heartfelt gratitude, and a mention on our website
Personalized dating/relationship advice from Whim's CEO + all previous perks
Lunch with Whim's founder + all previous perks
Dinner party with Whim's founder and other $15k+ investors + all previous perks
Whim is a new mobile dating app that sends users on real-life dates instead of aimless swiping, meaningless matching and endless texting. Whim is currently available for download in the iOS App Store.
After creating a profile, you tell Whim when and where you’re free, browse profiles, and choose the people you’d like to meet. As soon as two of you with mutual interest have your schedules align, the app selects a local bar or cafe and sets you up for a date. Once the date is set, matched users are encouraged to get in touch and confirm plans with each other using their personal phone numbers. After the date, Whim asks you for feedback about your date (which is seen only by Whim admins, not by your date).
Other dating apps are essentially match-and-message platforms that give users a way to chat with one another. It turns out that matches on these apps result in actual dates less than 11 percent of the time! Users waste significant time and energy on conversations that lead nowhere, or that ultimately disappoint.
Whim, on the other hand, sets users up for real-life meetings right away. It's the first and only app to offer a true dating service -- taking matches offline and turning virtual connections into real-life dates.
Whim doesn’t have a messaging feature because texting is an inefficient -- and mostly ineffective -- way to get to know someone. Nearly 80 percent of messages on other dating apps go unanswered altogether, and it takes an average of two weeks of back-and-forth messaging to get to a real-life date. Additionally, time spent messaging leads people to build up a false sense of rapport that often leads to unrealistic expectations.
Once Whim users match, they do generally contact each other via one another’s cell phone numbers. However, since the date is already arranged, their messaging tends to be efficient, direct, and limited to confirming plans that are already established.
Whim is deeply committed to ensuring that our users have a safe and enjoyable experience dating through our app. We hand-screen every profile before it is approved and accepted into the community. In addition, should there be any reports of bad behavior via our app's built-in feedback feature, we are able to respond immediately and remove the offending user from the system.
It's currently free to download Whim and go on dates! Users can choose to upgrade to Star Membership to take advantage of premium features. For example, “Connect Now” is a feature that lets you get in touch to plan dates with your matches directly even if your busy schedules don’t align in the app right away.
Absolutely. Whim users can choose to view and engage with either or both genders.
Currently, Whim earns revenue through in-app purchases of recurring monthly subscriptions that give users access to additional, premium features in the app. A future release of the app may require users to pay a small monthly fee in order to use the service, after first experiencing the app through a free trial.
Our early marketing strategy has focused primarily on earned media (PR), in-app sharing incentives, and word-of-mouth. With additional funding, we will invest in content marketing development as well as paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
Whim is backed by 500 Startups (Dave McClure) and other angel investors.
IAC (Interactive Corp., owner of Match, Tinder, and OkCupid) is an extremely active acquirer in the dating space. Other potential acquirers include eHarmony, Zoosk, Spark Networks, and other dating-focused organizations.
Whim successfully raised $216,758 from 509 investors on December 31, 2016
Intrigued with the monetization possibilities of the places that the app recommends people meet at.Woo-Jin ShimInvested about 1 year ago
Curiousity, mostly.Stuart SlackInvested about 1 year ago
It seems like a good business model and it's fun to put money where mouth is & bet on a prospective winner.Ben BassInvested about 1 year ago
I know how crappy the other sites are.Tamara JeffersonInvested about 1 year ago
Women have a unique perspective on practical applications of technology for ordinary people.Peta HoyesInvested about 1 year ago
As a "dater", the effort involved to go on a single date is both daunting and exhausting. Something this simple makes a lot of sense.Monica PossInvested about 1 year ago
I invested because I hear lots of complaints about other apps currently available. And it seems low risk!O ZapataInvested about 1 year ago
I invested in Whim...because I like the company's new vision for online dating. Thanks. (Kelvin)Kelvin CoxInvested about 1 year ago
After reading through all the materials on Republic about Eve, her background, the stats about online dating, about the Whim philosophy and the market space for this app, I decided it was a no-brainer. And quite possibly, a win-win for me. AMSAndrew StreiberInvested about 1 year ago
I invested because I am someone who has used all the dating apps and Whim is just different, its unique, and it gets straight to the point rather than wasting time. Living in NYC everything is so fast paced and this is the perfect app for that.Philip DaCostaInvested about 1 year ago
It's a revolutionary idea for a dating app - I hope it does well and I'd love to try it as soon as it becomes available on Android in Ireland!Sinead CoyleInvested about 1 year ago
I believe in Eve and Whim!Anthony SayeghInvested about 1 year ago
just trying the republic platform.Kushagra ShrivastavaInvested about 1 year ago
I believe in this company!Philip Haywood ReynoldsInvested about 1 year ago
Simple to understand how Whim will grow and succeed.Nick AInvested about 1 year ago
The company has huge potential, dating sites and apps are a billion dollar industry and the opportunity to be an early investor could not be passed up!John JudnichInvested about 1 year ago
I invested because dating apps are the way of the future and because the best way to get to know someone is to meet them. Whim allows you to skip over a bunch of hurdles and actually meet people. Can't wait til it's released in Chicago!Renee MillerInvested about 1 year ago
This investment idea looks appealing. Most of the companies and start ups in the dating realm tend to do very well especially if they innovate and adapt. My gut feeling is two years down the line, this company will be going places!!! Lets watch!!!WILLY ROTICHInvested about 1 year ago
By all reports a good startup.Dick HalliganInvested about 1 year ago
recommended by First Stage Investor.Ron BurrierInvested about 1 year ago
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