TECH CRUNCH - Alex Hofmann once served as Musical.ly's president, overseeing the North and South American markets for the TikTok precursor, then leaving shortly after the app exited to Chinese tech giant ByteDance in 2017. He launched 9count, the maker of the popular friend-finder Wink, mobile dating app Summer (previously Spark), and others. 9count is raising $27.5M in new funding which is an extension of 9count's earlier Series A and includes only its existing investors. 9count's backers were impressed with the metrics coming out of Summer, which launched as Spark back in May but later rebranded. The dating app targets a younger demographic, ages 18 and up. But unlike traditional swipe-based dating apps, Summer shows many users at once - an experience meant to more closely mimic the way it feels to walk into a crowded space in real life. Summer has ~300K monthly active users and 500K downloads. Hofmann claims it's the fastest-growing dating app to hit the market since Bumble arrived in 2014. The video chat app Wink has 2M monthly active users, remaining 9count's largest app to date. In total, 9count's app portfolio now reaches ~10M users.