Chalk one up for Jigsaw, an ‘anti-superficial’ relationship app, which has scored £2.7 million ($3.7M) in seed funding to place in the direction of US enlargement. The spherical is led by a lead era firm for on-line relationship corporations, known as The Relationship Corp, with backing from angel buyers within the US and UK “primarily” within the tech sector.
As the startup’s title suggests, Jigsaw provides a little bit cryptic enjoyable to the transactional enterprise of swiping images of different singles seeking relationship chemistry in a bid to supply a much less superficial expertise.
Albeit their (patented) anti-superficial twist seems to be a tad gimmicky at first blush: They actually superimpose a digital jigsaw over the faces of customers, with items eliminated step by step the extra you work together — and the total face solely revealed after a pre-set quantity of in-app engagement.
Digital filters are additionally banned, per the app’s FAQ; they solely need ‘actual’ selfies. So no cute cat ears and so forth.
They’ve acquired a number of extra methods up their sleeve however don’t wish to provide a public reveal of the deliberate options we guessed have been coming simply but (however, properly, a fast look on the app and it’s mainly a half completed jigsaw puzzle of their product roadmap).
The UK startup — which was based again in 2016 by a few pals, Alex Durrant (co-founder and CEO) and Max Adamski (co-founder and CPO), once they have been at college (and discovering the relationship app scene frustratingly superficial, as they inform it, happening to give up their jobs and go all in on the mission in 2018) — launched its puzzle-faced relationship expertise in London in 2019; and opened as much as the US in November final yr.
Jigsaw has some 150,000+ registered customers throughout these two markets at this level, with 50,000 within the US — and an urge for food to step issues up over the pond now they’re flush with new funds.
Durrant says the crew is hoping to hit half 1,000,000 US customers within the subsequent six months. They reckon there’s a pattern in the direction of much less superficial swiping within the American relationship app scene that Jigsaw is properly positioned to faucet into.
“We’re not insane and assume individuals look higher with puzzles over their faces, I promise, the puzzle is our center finger to the superficial relationship business,” he says. “It exists as you say to encourage extra significant/sustained interactions and to assist customers look past the seems to be.”
Currently, Jigsaw’s face-shielding mechanism includes a puzzle made up of 16 items. All images begin with one piece eliminated “so that you get a sneak peek”. Another then comes off when a consumer likes (matches with) the individual so in the beginning of chatting there are two items revealed.
More items are eliminated because the pair mutually alternate messages till there’s no extra puzzle bits left. Hopefully you additionally gained’t run out of dialog at that time.
“Over six messages every (12 in whole) is what we consider is the minimal wanted for a significant dialog,” says Durrant. “That’s why the jigsaw puzzle at the moment unveils absolutely after seven messages are exchanged (14 items reveal in whole), revealing the face beneath. This quantity has been examined and that is the present candy spot for our customers.”
Jigsaw isn’t distinctive within the idea of defending facial visuals to encourage relationship app customers to do extra chatting and fewer senseless swiping. There are an entire bunch of ‘slower reveal’ type twists aimed toward decreasing “relationship app fatigue” — as one other app, INYN, which additionally limits the speed of the profile reveal, places it.
Another app which blurs customers’ images till they do some chatting is Taffy. There’s additionally Muslim matchmaking app Veil — which presents a “digital veil” characteristic (aka an opaque filter) that it applies to all profile images, female and male, till a mutual match is made.
Other ‘anti-superficial’ relationship apps, like Willow, attempt a Q&A mode strategy — getting customers to reply inquiries to see extra images. The listing goes on.
Still, Jigsaw has give you maybe essentially the most visually apparent (and gamified) twist on this gradual reveal format. And being so instantly, properly, apparent, it’d make its ‘gradual reveal’ twist stick for longer than the typical ‘love is blind’ different relationship app.
Its seed funding will not be about shopping for customers, both. We made certain to examine.
The Relationship Corp does provide consumer acquisition/visitors era providers to relationship apps — together with these it invests in — however in Jigsaw’s case the funding is a straight fairness funding, per Durrant. So it’s not less than sounding assured in its means to develop.
“They’re tremendous low key however are identified within the business,” says Durrant of the lead seed investor. “Steve Happas their CEO is ex-Match and… sits on our advisory board [as part of the investment]. We had an choice to work with them to amass customers however as an alternative, they’re supporting our inside crew in an advisory capability.”
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