WooMe, a video speed-dating site whose claim to fame is a speedy, no-frills interface and the ability to attract people who would never touch a traditional dating site (it calls itself an “introductions platform”), has raised a fresh round of capital to continue expanding.
NewTeeVee had the scoop on the funding news, however its report said the company was valued at $30 million after the money, and had a deal with MTV, both of which WooMe representative called “inaccurate”. WooMe says its post-valuation is significantly higher, at $41 million, and that there’s no deal at all with MTV.
By all appearances, WooMe has been growing rapidly. Three months after the site launched, co-founder Stephen Stokols told me that the site was running about 1,000 video sessions between users (read our past coverage for more on how WooMe works). Today, the company is claiming 15,000 sessions each day, with 350,000 registered users. It also says the average amount of time active users spend on the site is doubling each month.
One does get the impression, though, that WooMe hasn’t grown quite as quickly as its founders hoped. One whisper I’ve heard is that WooMe attracts new users easily, but has had trouble user retention, despite some high-profile media appearances, including the BBC and Fox’s Morning Show.
An ongoing “bridge round” that saw its initial funding extended to $7.5 million from $1.9 million may have indicated the site had trouble convincing investors it’s really rocket-fueled (bridge rounds are sometimes made on less favorable terms, though we don’t know the details here). But this is just speculation on my part. With the significant valuation of this round, it appears that any worries have probably been set aside, for now. [update: Stokols says the bridge round raised in December was actually done because the numbers were well beyond what was expected.]
The $12.5 million round was led by Index Ventures, with existing investors Atomico and Mangrove Capital Partners participating. The round has also been left open, with about $500,000 left to raise for “strategic angels” who may come in. WooMe has its offices split between San Francisco, Los Angeles and London.
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing and personalization...
Chime in here, and we’ll share the results