Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t take Antidate to the next level.
We ran out of cash for our skeleton team and were unable to raise the next round of funding. We got so very close to realising our vision but alas, we were unable to get it away.
We started working on Antidate in the summer of 2013, with our crew - Jason, Matt, John and Karen.
It felt pretty DIY. We had an original idea and Tinder, Bumble & co hadn’t hit the world yet. The tech world still felt wide-open back then. We felt like we were a group of friends, starting a band.
We had followed Grindr closely and wondered if a real-time tracking app could work for a wider audience. The safety concerns for women made it a no-go for us. We wanted to productise the feeling of Brit-style spontaneity that we felt was lacking in the contrived, interview-esque world of NYC-style dating i.e Brits used to spot someone hot when they were out and about with their mates and basically, ‘pull’.
We came up with the idea of one-way glass. Girls could see the guys on a map in real time but guys couldn’t see the girls at all unless they were approached by a girl. This meant girls had to make the first move. It was an exciting idea but in reality the majority of the girls didn’t really like making the first move. The ones that did, loved it. It also worked really well for shy guys. We had an Instagram-only login which was a bit of a boo-boo as people don’t remember their password. It wasn’t perfect but we built it, released it and were proud of our efforts.
It felt fresh.
We got a great deal of press. People were intrigued by our brand and the fact we were the first women to make a dating product. After pouring our savings into the first version of Antidate, we managed to raise a seed round and try and tackle the things that weren’t working with an experienced team- Sofia, Liz, Matt and Val.
After an in-depth assessment of the market, we kicked off an exploratory process (thanks Liz and Mette!) and decided to pivot, refining the key concepts around visibility preference and real-time tracking. We felt we had to get ahead of the game again and predict the next bounce of the ball. The fact the app was heteros-only felt weird too.
With hindsight, we were undercapitalised at that point. You have to move fast and scale quickly - you need resources to do that. We tried our best to raise the next round but we didn’t have strong enough user numbers or growth to make it happen. We were still trying to crack some crucial problems, making headway but not fast enough.
It was an intense period and we were starting to burn out, working part-time and freelance stints to pay the bills whilst trying to keep moving forward with the app. We were trying to compete with some extremely well-funded startups and in short, we couldn’t. We still believe in the blueprint we created so it hurts a little to be unable to see it through.
We are pretty sad to close this chapter of our lives but wanted to thank all the members of the crew over the years, advisors and our investors for believing in us. We are sorry we couldn’t make it work. We also want to thank everyone who took the time to download and check out Antidate.
For any other entrepreneurs out there who are in a similar position, listen to our 90’s RnB prophet, Aaliyah - dust yourself off and try again.
Hatty & Mo