If you’re between the ages of 18 and 65, chances are that you’re familiar with Tinder. If you’re a millennial, chances are good that you’ve used it, and enjoyed one of the many perks of living in an era when everybody is perpetually, mutually connected: randomly hooking up with strangers on the Internet.
What you may or may not know is that there are apps today to meet friends, neighbours and fellow introverts online – not just casual lovers. Contrary to popular belief, in fact, most people on dating apps are deadly serious about meeting other people, and many are looking for meaningful, long-term relationships or just innocent friendships. That is why Tinder itself decided to launch a spin-off of its popular dating platform, Tinder Social, which allows users to match with people that will only feel platonic love for them.
Here is a list of European startups that are following in the footsteps of the more popular Tinder Social, Meetup and Bumble BFF, and will quickly become your best assets in navigating the turbulent waters of digital interactions:
Founded in 2017, Wetime is a social platform dedicated to couples and families with kids looking for new adult friends and to be socially active again. The software ideated by Wetime uses a “dual matchmaking algorithm, combining multiple parameters like location, occupation, hobbies, children, lifestyle, personal interests and age”. Wetime aims to bring together all those couples that are open to new social interaction, such as those who recently moved or young parents that want to meet like-minded people with children of the same age. In addition to the matchmaking services, this Belgian startup offers its users the chance to collect virtual coins, redeem gifts or benefit from discounts with their partners such as restaurants, travel agencies or hotels.
Based in Berlin, Nebenan offers its users the opportunity to connect with their neighbours and to maintain neighbourly relations. The app is a social network specifically intended for neighbors, with over 800,000 users in more than 6,000 neighborhoods. The aim of the platform is to build functioning communities through a useful and secure online platform that can be used to unite locals through projects like activities for kids or community gardening. Founded in 2015, the startups has raised a total of €21.5 million in funding over three rounds.
Founded in 2018 in Malmö, Sweden, Panion calls itself the “common interest app”. It’s a social app that helps people rebuild their social circle when they move to a new place, for instance students and employees moving between universities and companies. Panion allows users to match people according to their interests, values, and experiences, and to search for like-minded people nearby. The app also suggests ways to connect, like icebreakers activities, spontaneous hangouts and local events to encourage face-to-face meetups.
“Made with love in Frankfurt”, Go Crush is the new app for group meetings. The platform promises that no swiping or chatting is needed in order to find your new group of friends. Instead, it arranges real life encounters for you at a restaurant! Go Crush brings people with the same interests together and brings the fun of meeting up back into the streets. The German startup was founded in 2017, and has secured a total of $285k in funding so far.
LemonSwan is not your average dating app. It was built with one specific group of users in mind: singles with serious intentions. Founded in Hamburg, Germany, the service has been developed with the help of expert psychologist Dr. Peter Michael Bak, expert psychologist. Because of its high standards, the platform is able to offer a secure and thorough matchmaking process. The strict guidelines of the platform include: pre-screening of singles, a balanced ratio of women and men, high quality photos, and meaningful profile content. LemonSwan also offers free services for students and single parents.
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