Apprentice star secures £219,000 through Seedrs for gamified dating app
Vana Koutsomitis, the former investment banker who was runner-up in last year’s The Apprentice, has closed a £219,570 crowdfunding round for DatePlay – the dating app she originally pitched to Lord Sugar on the show.
Koutsomitis’ Seedrs round overfunded in just three days – from an original target of £120,000 – and was backed by 390 investors in return for a share of 5.58% equity.
Set to launch later this Autumn on iOS and currently based at Wayra’s London office, DatePlay is said to be the first app of its kind to combine dating and gaming; a proposition which Koutsomitis believes “adds an element of fun to the dating experience”.
The games on the app will collect behavioural insights and will then analyse the users in order to suggest quality matches that users are more likely to be compatible with. According to its crowdfunding pitch, the app has received over 20,000 sign-ups so far with “user numbers growing by the day”.
On the back of the crowdfunding round, DatePlay has been invited to take part in Mass Challenge – the world’s largest start-up accelerator – with the aim to foster the app’s growth and make it ‘huge’.
“We are very happy with how the campaign has gone. The amount of support we received for DatePlay during the campaign has been amazing and we are now excited for the next step which is the launch of the app.
“To have this many people believe in our idea, and to reach our goal so quickly after several months of hard work, has been a dream come true. I wish to inspire more female founders to dream big and never give up.”