Kippo Gets $2M For a Gamer-Friendly Dating App

Kippo Gets $2M For a Gamer-Friendly Dating App

Video gamers aren’t exactly known as a big-time catch when it comes to dating because of stereotypes about them. But this will likely change in the near future! Among the reasons for the shift: Kippo gets $2 million in funding for a gamer-friendly dating app!

Attacking the Old Tropes

We’ve heard one or two stereotypes of avid gamers and many of these stereotypes still exist. There’s the stereotype of the male gamer sitting in front of his multiple monitors, alone and lonely in his basement. There’s also the trope about gamers being socially awkward, perhaps even anxious and depressed.

But Kippo wants to abolish these old stereotypes and it’s high time, too. Kippo wants to develop a next-generation dating-and-gaming app that will modernize how people meet and connect.

According to its CEO David Park, people actually meet and connect through their personal interests including video games! He also added that gamers are now widely considered as jocks.

(We can agree with such a statement considering the increasing popularity and media coverage of e-sports competitions. There’s also the fact that professional gamers who win at these tournaments can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.)

Park also said that we talk about the increase in anxiety, depression, and loneliness among serious gamers. His company then thought about the solution and it turned out to be simple: To connect people and for them to enjoy meaningful human relationships.

He added, “I’ve been a gamer my entire life.” Park further asserted that the gaming community is a niche demographic, of a sort, but it’s no longer so considering that it’s moving toward the mainstream. He pointed out the numerous stereotypes and stigmas about serious gamers as well as their falseness today.

(We did this story even when dating isn’t exactly our usual coverage. We see this as a more of a startup story than a dating story because of its focus on what Kippo is doing and why it’s doing what it does. There’s also the importance of highlighting Kippo’s direct assault against old stereotypes, a worthy story in our changing times.)


Numerous Investors Have Come Forward

Kippo’s $2 million investment came primarily from Primer Sazze Partners, as well as with participation from NextGen Venture partners, former executives at Tinder, and IHeartComix. The new infusion of capital will be mainly used in the expansion of the app’s interactive features.

By the way, Kippo is derived from a Korean word. The company’s name itself is a twist on the word “happiness”, an experience that we can surmise the company wants its subscribers to enjoy.

Kippo’s grand vision, according to Park, is to “create a platform for everybody” where the experience of meeting new people is gamified. The demographic most comfortable with online meetings, he added, are gamers and due to the current pandemic, more people are learning the joys of online interactions.

Unique Profiles for Gamers

Most social and dating apps discourage the use of their subscribers’ or members’ virtual selves. In the process, they don’t recognize the benefits of connecting with others through gaming and other digital activities. These apps are also missing out on its value for making deeper connections with others.

(Skillprint is an exception. It actually recommends careers for serious gamers depending on their preferred videogames)

With the Kippo dating app, the gamers identify their preferred videogames and post plenty of photos on their profiles. Their in-game aliases are also used instead of their contact information, such as phone numbers. In case of a date gone bad, their phone numbers aren’t available for others to see and call.

But there are also cases on Kippo where members aren’t looking for dates but for fellow gamers to play with. Many of them then get together online, which does away with locations, and then play games.

About 96 percent of users on Kippo have already completed their entire profile with the use of its interactive profile builder. Every individual’s profile is highlighted by so-called cards, such as This or That, Myers-Briggs Type I indicator, and Star Sign.

Not surprisingly considering the demographic, 93 percent of its users play videogames and go on virtual dates before their face-to-face interaction. The virtual interactions decreased the awkwardness that comes from the first dates.

Even without active promotions, Kippo’s app has increased its membership –about 45,000 users have signed on over an eight-month period. The typical users fall in the 18-24 age bracket, a demographic far younger than on other dating apps. About 40% are female, and it isn’t a surprise, too, considering that gaming has a universal feel to it.

As for Kippo’s revenues, the company has seen a consistent increase of 50% month-to-month. Due to the social distancing measures brought by the pandemic, the app’s usage has also seen a significant increase, about 275%.

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Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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