Swipe right is no longer reserved just for dating apps. Cobble, the decision-making app for couples, makes use of the simple and elegant swipe right UX feature to help couples discover and decide on what activities, events, shows, or movies to attend/watch. Cobble is a spin-off of the date night blog, idk tonight, and has already recorded +200K swipes on its platform since its launch earlier this year. The app is initially focused on those who are in committed relationships with plans to expand to the broader market of friends and groups.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Chief Editor Jordan Scott to learn more about the inspiration for spicing up date night, the company’s geographic expansion plans, and recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Our investors are a group of several strategic angels including Kerr Tech Investments. We raised $3M in seed funding in a total of 35 days from initial conversations and presentations to receiving SAFE notes.
Tell us about the product or service that Cobble offers.
Cobble is a decision-making app that helps couples discover more meaningful experiences together faster and more efficiently. Users can experience the beauty of swiping right with their partner for restaurant ideas, shows to watch, books to read, virtual events to attend, recipes to cook, and more.
What inspired the start of Cobble?
I was inspired to start Cobble after I noticed that there appeared to be a new dating app launched weekly, but no platform for once you were in a committed relationship. My goal was to focus on how couples could utilize technology in order to better figure out what to do with their free moments together.
How is Cobble different?
Cobble helps break the traditional relationship roles of planner and agreer, motivating both decision-makers to have an impact.
Great content fuels the ability to make decisions, but it’s the combination of content and artificial intelligence that really drives action.
For the first time, we’re focused on how people make decisions together rather than individually.
What market does Cobble target and how big is it?
We currently target those in committed relationships but will soon be expanding beyond couples and into all relationship types such as friends and groups. We are currently launched in NYC but have an entire “Stay In” Experience that is applicable no matter where you are. We are also launching several new cities in 2021.
What’s your business model?
We are driving decisions, which means ultimately driving purchases. If we successfully assist our users in making a decision on dinner, a movie, or what Airbnb they should stay in, we’ll share in that revenue. However, there are myriad ways that Cobble can be monetized, and we are singularly focused on retention and user growth right now.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
Launching during a pandemic has had its challenges, including building an entire team remotely and raising $3M in seed funding, but I saw this as an incredible opportunity to adapt and establish patterns of resiliency.
It was always the goal to expand Cobble beyond going out and experiencing the world together, and therefore, COVID-19 was a great excuse to test out new verticals focused on staying-in and digital experiences earlier than anticipated. Taking that risk has paid off, and since launching Cobble in June with zero marketing spend, we have thousands of users who have swiped over 200K times.
What was the funding process like?
Rapid, thrilling, exhausting, strange, joyful. I am extremely fortunate to have been connected with several angel investors who, due to their excitement, continued passing us along to more investor connections. The biggest tip I can give is to act fearlessly by throwing your product out into the wild. If we hadn’t dropped Cobble off of a cliff to see if it would fly, we would have nothing to valuably share with investors. Once we did that, we rode the momentum of our products’ early success, reached out to the right people at the right time, and we were able to make it happen.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
For a product like Cobble, it’s all about the user base. One challenge we faced was finding investors who understood the future potential for the business model, and who agreed with our approach to not focus on revenue at this stage. The investors who ultimately invested understood almost instantly and ‘got it’.
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What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Cobble can be outrageously huge. We are tackling decision-making. That’s kind of crazy. But it’s also crazy simple. We’ve spent many, many hours thinking through this idea, we haven’t been afraid to take action and put our product in front of people, and we’ve gathered a strong team. I think our investors shared in our excitement and appreciated my gumption. Under the team slide in our deck, while we have incredibly talented people and proudly shout out their accolades, the bullet under my name says “gotten us this far”.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
I read somewhere recently that we completely overestimate what we can do in a year, but completely underestimate what we can do in 5 years. I’m a planner. If over the next 6 months, we can steadily grow our user base, define exactly what it is that keeps a user engaged, jump into some new markets and partner with some cool companies, I’ll be satisfied. Most importantly, I’d like to continue building our team and jumping off of Zoom calls at the end of the day singing about how much I love my team no matter how much it grows. Six months ago, we had a 3-person team and almost $0 in the bank account. If that’s not proof we can do hard things, I don’t know what is.
Six months ago, we had a 3-person team and almost $0 in the bank account. If that’s not proof we can do hard things, I don’t know what is.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Keep doing things. Keep creating. Keep growing: your product (whether it’s you hand-drawing screens or a pro), your audience (talk to the camera, be yourself and people will care), and your ability to focus—write down what you want to do and when you want it to happen. Then do it. If you keep doing that….it will happen.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
I see myself opening Cobble in a new city and being able to explore that city in a safe, and meaningful way. I see more people in Zoom boxes in our team meetings. I see big question marks that slowly reveal themselves to be the newest aspect of running a startup that makes it all worth it.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
We had breakfast at La Bonbonniere in the West Village this morning and I’m so proud of how resilient they are. I also love Pomodoro on the UWS. But really, we love to explore new experiences, and for that, we pull out Cobble most nights.