9count, a Marina del Rey-based technology company, announced last week that it had secured an additional $6 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $27.5 million. 9count’s investors included GGV Capital Redpoint, Signia, Greycroft, Progression, Crosscut, I2BF and Waverley Capital, among others.
The company was founded in 2019 by Alex Hofmann, former president of Musical.ly (which was acquired by the Chinese company ByteDance, and absorbed into TikTok in 2018), and Joe Viola, to develop several social and dating apps for users worldwide.
The company will use a huge chunk of the funding to build upon its most popular dating app, Summer. Since its launch three months ago, Summer is now the fastest-growing dating app since Bumble launched in 2014, according to Hofmann, and has garnered more than 300,000 users.
Summer is a dating app designed to connect users. The application steps away from the swiping feature most dating apps use, and instead, users open the app to find a grid feed with all their possible matches. Once a user sends a person a “like,” the other person has 24 hours to respond.
Hofmann said the success of Summer is thanks in part to the company’s “multipro,” meaning multiproduct, approach, which allows 9count to develop several, synergistic products under one shingle at the same time.
“Essentially, we are creating not just one product but multiple products. And this is a trend that we have seen in Asia, mainly in China,” Hofmann explained. “We believe that this is something that will more and more make its way to the Western world, where companies don’t just focus on one product, but really release multiple products and see if there are learnings from the one product that can be applied to the other product, or if it’s possible to drive traffic from one to the other.”
Using this method, 9count launched the dating app with more than 50,000 users on day one because of the ability to cross-promote the app to users on their friend-making platform, Wink.