German dating app Spotted has raised a $US14.5 million (£9.3 million) Series A round, TechCrunch reports, and will be using the funds to expand to the US, Korea and Japan. It also wants to get more users in Europe and North Africa, where it already operates.
Spotted works in a similar way to French dating app Happn, which has proved to be a popular alternative to Tinder. It lets you get in touch with strangers you might have liked the look of when walking down the street, queueing for a coffee, or riding the bus.
The investment came from several German funds: Media Ventures, owned by Cologne media giant Dirk Ströer, Wolfman Holdings, run by professor Wolf M. Nietzer, and the Deutsche Balaton affiliate based in Heidelberg, Germany.
Spotted was launched in 2013, so actually predates Happn. But the French app has grown more quickly, and expects to hit 10 million users by the end of this year.
Spotted cofounder Tung Nguyen told TechCrunch that the app currently boasts about a million users and is getting about 3,000 downloads a day. Most users come from countries with plenty of German speakers, like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but the app is also getting a lot of use in French-speaking markets like France, Canada, Algeria and Morocco.
Nguyen believes that Spotted’s approach to dating is less “transactional” than on an app like Tinder, which is why he thinks that Spotted has managed to attract an “above average” number of female users.