Women 2.0 is thrilled to announce that Spoondate has secured funding from 500 Startups to embark on the next steps in their venture to shake up the world of online dating. Spoondate founders Raissa Nebie and Van Nguyen met in the Women 2.0 Founder Labs program where they came together on their passion to create a new way to meet people based on food preferences. After all, what’s more intimate than sharing a meal?
While in the Founder Labs program, the Spoondate team validated the concept of an online and mobile dating service built around food preferences. After talking with hundreds of potential customers online and offline, their customer development revealed a keen interest in people coming together over a meal, for love or for fun.
Raissa came to Founder Labs (via NYC, Paris and West Africa) with experience as a chef, private equity banker and director of a non-profit. Raissa also came to Founder Labs with the concept of Spoondate.
Meanwhile, Van came to Founder Labs (from Boston) with experiences toggling between senior engineer, startup founder, senior engineer, startup founder.
In the 5-week Founder Labs program, the Spoondate team built an initial alpha product and sent out a few couples on “Spoondates”. Co-founders Raissa and Van continued to refine the concept, build a brand and build a business model. Raissa said, “Founder Labs was the catalyst to bring us to where we are today. We are early, but we are prepared and now at 500 Startups we are on an express train to build and launch our full-featured product.”
Van reflects on his time at Founder Labs: “During Founder Labs I was exposed to the deep needs of the consumers. I was able to learn more about all things not involving code, and at the same time, we taught Raissa to deploy code. There is nothing like a cross-functional team!”
Dave McClure, Founding Partner at 500 Startups met the Spoondate team in their third week at Founder Labs and recalls: “Spoondate was immediately memorable. I can’t remember any startup that promised their customers would be well-fed and have a shot at getting to second base in one evening.” Dave has been a long time supporter of Women 2.0 and Founder Labs.
We at Women 2.0 and Founder Labs are celebrating the funding of Spoondate and look forward to supporting the growth of Raissa and Van. Until then, sign up for Spoondate at www.spoondate.com and follow them on Twitter at @spoondate.
Women 2.0 Co-Founder and CEO Shaherose Charania blogs about the Spoondate story here.