3. February 2014–
Mbrace, the Berlin-based "social discovery app", has announced a seven-figure funding round from Paua Ventures, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Astutia and multiple business angels. The app allows users to meet and date new acquaintances.
Founded by former HitFox cofounder Ruben Haas, along with AppLift's Lukas Krauter and ad2game's Jan Tillman, the startup launched in summer 2013. It will use the fresh capital to improve user experience, add new features, build up its team and launch the app in new cities.
"Via Facebook people stay in touch with their friends, on Mbrace they can meet completely new acquaintances", Haas said. "Mbrace is no alternative to the offline world, but is a mobile solution that supports and simplifies getting to know new people in real life."
Available on Android, iOS and online, Mbrace shares a great deal of similarities with popular US-launched dating app Tinder – from the concept to the app's features. Users login via Facebook and, in a bid to keep fake profiles out, the Mbrace team then takes up to four days to manually approve each application. Once accepted, users can swipe through profiles, which include shared interests, photos and mutual friends. When they find a person they're interested in, they like him or her – the like is anonymous, a match only happens if the other person likes back. Matched users can then start chatting within the app.
The app's USP is its "challenge" feature: "Besides liking someone, you can also perform a small “challenge” the other person has chosen. If the other person likes and accepts your challenge submission, Mbrace lets you chat inside the app as well. Also, you can define fun challenges that others need to do in order to get to know you", the Mbrace website claims.