OPW INTERVIEW - Jan 30 - S'More raised $2.1m. What are they up to, and where will they go. I interviewed the CEO of S'More to find our more. - Mark Brooks
What's your #1 priority for your money raise?
Focusing on building out the product in a cost-efficient and timely manner so that we can expand across the U.S and then start work on Android. We still have so many cool features that are not yet present in the app, not to mention premium functionality that I can't wait to announce!
What will S'More look like in a year?
S'More will feel much more like a discovery community rather than a transactional dating app. What I mean is that there will be new ways to meet people in more organic ways. So for those who hate dating apps or for people who are not looking to date, but just want to meet and chat with cool people, S'More will become your destination! These community features are coming soon and we are even bringing in our S'More Live celebrity dating show inside the app!
Does Tinder have a future or will interest wane in your opinion? Why?
My view is that the industry is changing fast and we are entering a major era of disruption. People are looking for more, and current offerings are just not addressing consumers' changing behaviors. People have been swiping for years, and while fun, it can get a little boring and repetitive. S'More brings a totally new approach to the industry, tackling the bigger issue of "discovery": how do you really get to know a person beyond just a headshot....
Insta, Facebook, PPC, influencers, what's working best for you?
We think about marketing holistically not by tactics and quite honestly you need to employ all marketing tactics to build a solid and durable brand. S'More has always been a brand-first company, and we stand for anti-superficial relationships, and everything we do supports that belief. The core way we drive awareness is through our weekly celebrity dating show. We've shot 65 episodes in the last 6 months, and the show is now covered by celebrity news and by lifestyle reporters, dramatically expanding our reach beyond what any start-up at our stage should be able to generate. The show also gives us a great connection to Hollywood, which we are leveraging for a forthcoming tv show, and many of the singles we interview are actually on our app! Data from the show is also used for performance marketing.
How would you like to see the dating industry work together?
So many brands are doing great things, and I am so fortunate to have so many relationships with well established players in our space. I'd like to see us do more on data and security and verification. Just like Airbnb did a few years back, we as an industry must come together and require that 100% of users are verified. Let me be clear here, 100% catfish free, meaning your photos are of you and not of someone else, that is one of the biggest concerns we face and we need to establish better ways to keep bad actors out of our communities and be more proactive in doing so collaboratively.
How do you think the dating industry will be entirely different in 5 years?
I think A/R and V/R are coming fast, and we at S'More are getting ready. A/R and V/R will take virtual dating to a new level and as headsets become more widely available people will want to take part in these super cool and immersive experiences.