Matchmaking service Tawkify picks up ‘anti-superficial’ dating app S’More in mobile expansion • TechCrunch

Matchmaking service provider Tawkify announced today it acquired S’More, an “anti-superficial” dating app that had experimented with blurred profile photos and even blurred video chats, in an attempt to get people to get to know one another without the focus on physical appearance.

With the acquisition, S’More is sunsetting its app, and founder Adam Cohen Aslatei will instead join the Tawkify team to lead the launch of its first-ever mobile product. Deal terms were not disclosed, but S’More had raised $3.2 million in seed funding, according to Crunchbase.

Set to launch in mid-2023, Tawkify’s new app will offer users access to its matchmaking service, new relationship wellness services, as well as “multimedia features, sharable and exclusive content,” Cohen Aslatei told TechCrunch.

Not much else was shared about the forthcoming app except that the new exclusive content would feature matchmakers, romance coaches, dating experts, and even celebrities. Tawkify is also launching an in-house content studio to produce the content, which will be available on its website and social media platforms.

Tawkify says it plans to partner with media companies and organizations to give users access to exclusive perks, special promotional offers and events.

While S’More will be no more, some of its features will make an appearance in the new Tawkify app, we understand. S’More’s main feature was blurring profile images and video chats. The photo or video of the user revealed itself every time the conversation with the potential match continued.

“From a philosophical standpoint, [Tawkify and S’More] are very much aligned,” Tawkify CEO Kellie Ammerman told TechCrunch. “We actually do blind matchmaking, so we don’t show photos, which is pretty uncommon in the industry — but that’s worked for us. We appreciate that [S’More] has the same non-superficial aspect to dating.”

S’More first launched to select cities in 2019. In 2021, the company launched a celebrity dating and relationship show on Instagram, “S’More Live,” which, according to the company, has over 285 episodes and 10 million views. As of the time of the acquisition, S’More claimed to have over 450,000 users.

According to Tawkify, it has seen a lot of demand for a mobile app, noting that the term “Tawkify” sees an average of over 350,000 organic searches in the App Store every month.

“The mobile app will allow us to expand the concept of matchmaking to a larger audience and demystify it for many Americans. The current mental mindset of matchmaking in America is based on a limited set of references, mostly fun TV shows, but through the app, millions of people will be able to experience what matchmaking is all about and get a chance to try it” added Cohen Aslatei.

Cohen Aslatei noted that, as a former Bumble exec, he’s seen how dating apps have fallen “out of favor for quite some time” and believes matchmaking is a more effective alternative.

Although there’s no doubt dating apps will remain popular, some users are frustrated with online dating and have turned to matchmaking services to find love. According to Financial Times, Tinder downloads dropped 5% in 2021.

Tawkify was founded around the same time as Tinder and Hinge. In 2012, Kenneth Shaw was over online dating, so he launched a human-based matchmaking service that doesn’t rely on algorithms and technology. Now, Tawkify has over 245 employees and over 200,000 matches. The company claims it has an 80% success rate–clients find relationship success within their first 12 matches.

Users can either sign up as a Matchmaker Member for $99 per year or a Matchmaker Client, which offers three different packages. For example, clients can pay $4,500 to be paired up with three matches, $7,900 for six matches or $14,400 for 12 matches. A Matchmaker Member means your profile will be visible to Tawkify clients, but you don’t get your own matchmaker.

It claims to be the most affordable matchmaking alternative out there, with a mission to democratize matchmaking and make it more accessible to everyone. 

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