Two big fundraising events in the past week have occurred.
First, online videochat service WooMe has raised $12.5 Million. That’s an enormous amount of money for a videochat site, but after having a conversation with CEO Stephen Stokols I’m pretty confident that they know exactly what they are doing. The Series B round was led by Index Ventures with existing investors Atomico and Mangrove Capital Partners also participating. The new capital will go toward supporting user growth, expanding internationally and introducing new functionality to the site.
With these strategic investments and partner relationships, WooMe is expanding its reach rapidly. Within the first six months of launch, the website can claim:
- Over 350,000 registered users
- Thousands of new users added per day
- Over 4 million introductions
- Over 2,500 speed sessions played per day
- Approximately 15,000 introductions per day
- More than 150 countries represented
- Time spent on the site doubling monthly
San Francisco-based dating site Zoosk has raised $4.1M. The company has developed a simple dating interface for people to get to know each other on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, etc. According to alarm:clock:
Zoosk has some nice stats: + Founded in 2007, the startup has more than 400K daily unique visitors + More than 1M messages per day are exchanged through Zoosk +3M dating profiles on the network with a growth rate 5-7% per week.
I’ll have to ask Alex if the one million messages includes the act of voting on someone.
The round was led by Canaan Partners and included ATA Ventures. ATA Ventures was also a first round investor in Zoosk along with Amidzad Partners. Zoosk will use the funds to expand its marketing efforts, increase its subscriber base across additional social networks and develop compelling new features for its network.
Raising money for pure-play dating startups is difficult in todays investor climate. Companies focusing on social dating based on inexpensive cross-network traffic from social network applications and video introductions the purse strings tend to open faster.
We haven’t seen the killer social dating app on social networks yet. Snap Interactive and Zoosk are the primary players but their services are decidedly version 1.0 and have a long way to go to be truly useful. If only Facebook would release a new version of their API and let developers have better access to profile data, thats when things are going to get really interesting.