MeetMoi, a clever “location based” mobile dating service, has just raised $1.5 million in a first round of financing.
MeetMoi, which got a mention in the Wall Street Journal today (subscription required), lets you find people looking for a date, on-the-fly, wherever you are. You go to MeetMoi’s site, fill in some basic info, upload a profile, and register your phone number. Then, whenever you’re looking for a date, you send a text message containing your zip-code and cross-street to MeetMoi’s system. This lists you as “available,” and sends text messages with your profile to other “available” people within your vicinity.
If your profile makes any of these people tingle, they can reply to the text and the message will come to you. You then can see their profiles and have the option to respond. At no point does MeetMoi disclose your phone number. The service is free to register and costs 99 cents for 10 anonymous text messages.
The funding comes from Acadia Woods Partners. It is available on Cingular, Nextel, Boost, Sprint, T-Mobile, ALLTEL and CellularOne.
MeetMoi presented at the NY Tech Meetup in August of last year, and the first thing that jumped to mind for some of us in the audience was prostitution. MeetMoi’s chief executive Andrew Weinrich was asked about this by Meetup.com’s founder, Scott Heiferman, and Weinrich seemed somewhat surprised — but suggested it wouldn’t be a big deal. While the service may be great for tech-savvy urban types who tend to get constant, sudden urges to go on dates, MeetMoi could indeed be useful for more nefarious ends. The WSJ piece mentions a few other companies, including Zogo, Jumbuck and Webdate Mobile, and also touches on how some of these could also become stalking tools if and when GPS technology is widely introduced by carriers. We mentioned MeetMoi and many of these other companies in a piece back in February.
Weinrich, who founded a social networking company that grew to 3 million users before the days of Web 2.0, hopes to create a “network of passionate users.” Prostitutes or not, the existence of such a network, if its constituents are frequent and loyal, would basically mean that MeetMoi is a great way for a quick — and easy? — date. Meet MeetMoi: the Twitter of sex.