Whether it is in a cafe, on the metro, or wherever, many have probably been in a situation where you see a cute girl or guy and maybe make eye-contact, but through a lack of courage, or perhaps opportunity, nothing more comes of it. Since it launched in 2013, German startup Spotted has become a big hit among those who are interested in hooking up with those you may have missed.
The service works by alerting registered users when other users have passed by recently. From there, users can either “wink” at someone and, if they return that wink, begin chatting with them or, in a bit of a desperate move, send an anonymous message out to the individual in hopes that they see it and can respond. Spotted at least acknowledges that they are aware of potential privacy issues, telling users that they should be careful with regards to the people with whom they choose to connect and information that they opt to provide (and that these decisions are up to the user alone).
The startup generates revenue through a freemium model, with CEO Nik Myftari telling me that users can buy in-app currency and “use Cupid’s arrow” or simply message users without having to wait for them to respond. However, he adds that the startup is currently more focused on expanding their userbase than generating revenue.
Spotted reports that they are currently racking up about 3,000 downloads per day for their Android and iOS apps, claiming more than 1 million users around the globe. I supposed that it is easier to say that you are not particularly worried about generating revenue when your company raises a relatively huge amount of funding and Spotted has done just that. The startup made a lot of noise this week when they revealed that they have pulled in $14.5 million from current and new investors, including Media Ventures GmbH, Wolfman Holdings GmbH, and an affiliate of Deutsche Batalon AG, which they intend to use to continue to develop the platform and fuel global expansion. It is interesting to note that, even though they have pulled in a huge round, Myftari is currently in Silicon Valley preparing for another financing round with U.S. investors.