For many young people in relationships, it can be a challenge to try and find fun and interesting things to do for dates.
For this reason, close friends Dean Gruskin, Jason Sun and Josh Israeli set up date night marketplace, Urban Swan, aiming to solve the problem of bad and boring dating experiences.
Urban Swan co-founder Dean Gruskin says that from personal experience, the team noticed that it was difficult to organise fun dates and that there were very few options out there for those wanting to do something more exciting than dinner and drinks.
“The entire process of organising dates was tiresome. We felt there was a need for a marketplace that provides date nights that are interesting and exciting in an accessible way and that also caters to a younger demographic,” he said.
“Most experiences sold online are aimed towards older millennials or baby boomers – there was nothing for the younger generations.”
After bootstrapping early versions of the platform, the team was able to use the ongoing lockdowns to their advantage to improve their product.
“Lockdowns were certainly a challenge for us, however, we came to realise that it was a blessing in disguise,“ Gruskin said.
“It allowed us to focus on building our new platform and getting the product right without having to spend marketing dollars.”
The Urban Swan team has been working with Antler on growing and scaling their existing business, a partnership which Gruskin believes has been incredibly beneficial for their business.
“That time with Antler really got us prepared to be pitching to investors and to be ready to speak with VCs as well as thinking about the longer term plan,” he said.
“Thinking about where the business can go in the future. Just always having that resource available when you have a question about startups or raising capital and having those industry experts that you can talk to is just so valuable.”
Since Antler’s investment, Urban Swan has raised a subsequent funding round from early-stage investors and plans to rapidly expand the platform in Australia in 2022, while the team has ambitions to build a global brand and launch new products over the coming years.
“We’d like to be worldwide in the next five years,” says Gruskin, “as well as having different offerings related to making couples’ relationships more exciting, connected and generally healthier.”
- Startup Daily is the official media partner of Antler in Australia.