Here’s the pitch deck that dating app IRLY, cofounded by internet star Cameron Dallas, used to raise its pre-seed round
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- The video-dating app IRLY just brought on the Vine superstar Cameron Dallas as a cofounder.
- The company also announced a pre-seed funding round of 475,000 Canadian dollars.
- IRLY shared the pitch deck it used to raise the round.
The video-dating app IRLY — short for “I really like you” — has announced a pre-seed round of 475,000 Canadian dollars (about $350,500).
Investors included Chris Kaufman, the cofounder of the sneaker marketplace StockX, and Kevin Edwards, the CEO of the Canadian food-delivery service SkipTheDishes, along with several angel investors.
The app, expected to launch early next year, hopes to create a dating experience catered to Gen Z, with the possibility for users to video chat with their matches, play games with the dates to break the ice, and send each other virtual gifts.
The company also brought on the creator superstar Cameron Dallas as a cofounder.
Dallas, who rose to fame in the early 2010s on the short-form video app Vine and now has almost 25 million Instagram followers, previously cofounded a subscription platform called Fanfix.
SuperOrdinary, a beauty accelerator, acquired Fanfix in July in an eight-figure deal.
Shortly after, Dallas got in touch with the founders of IRLY — the Canada-based university students Connor Rose and Laura Rollock — on LinkedIn.
“It was really crazy — it came out of nowhere,” Rose told Insider. “I don’t have a personal relationship with him, so it was very confusing.”
Dallas was looking for his next venture after exiting with Fanfix, and he was impressed by IRLY’s proposition to try to make online dating more personal.
“I was really hungry to do the next thing,” he told Insider. “I think the dating scene could use a nice refreshment — it’s always the same stuff over and over.”
IRLY had raised its pre-seed round before getting in touch with Dallas, at the start of 2022.
Pitching investors as first-time founders while juggling the business with schoolwork was a difficult but fun experience, the cofounders said. They said the process took about two months and they pitched about 50 people.
They refined their presentation and deck as they learned what was working with their pitch.
“One thing that we always got complimented for was how fun our pitch deck was and how it really reflected what we were trying to do at IRLY,” Rollock said.
Most of the funds have been used for hiring, particularly on the tech side, while a smaller part has gone toward marketing and legal, hosting, and licensing fees.
An introductory slide shows the company’s name and its offer: immersive video dates and games.
Then, the deck presents one of the founders, Laura Rollock, who also serves as a case study to highlight the problems of online dating.
The following slide highlights research the founders conducted to gauge how college students felt about dating apps.
Rose and Rollock joined a startup-incubator program at Rose’s school, the University of British Columbia.
As part of the program, they were able to interview hundreds of their peers to understand their frustrations and pain points about online dating.
IRLY shows the problem it’s trying to solve: Gen Z is “frustrated” with dating apps.
Then, the deck shows how the company plans to bring “the magic back.”
The next slide shows IRLY’s solution: video-chat speed dates.
This slide was the “make or break” moment during pitches, Rose said.
After investors had heard about the problem, those who had used dating apps before would understand the solution and its novelty, while others, who had no experience with online dating, would often be confused, he said.
“I guess this is also where we lose them,” Rollock said. “Everybody that I know who uses dating apps absolutely hate their experience, so there’s a very evident problem. But for some people who have never experienced it, they really don’t understand.”
This slide shows the size of the dating market.
Another slide describes in more detail what IRLY is offering to counter some common problems of dating apps.
One of the most challenging questions the cofounders were asked while pitching was how their app’s video-chat feature was different.
This slide was intended help them explain that IRLY’s video chat was the core of the experience, rather just an extra feature.
“Right off the bat you get to talk to somebody,” Rollock said, “and then if you hate them, the call ends after two minutes.”
The next slide details the company’s mission.
One slide answers the question “Why now?”
One slide gives details about the online-dating competitive landscape.
The deck presents how the company plans to generate revenue.
The three revenue sources presented in the deck are tentative, as IRLY plans to launch monetization later in 2023, while focusing on developing its product in the shorter term.
For the premium subscription, the founders are thinking of following the model of other dating apps, like Tinder or Bumble, which charge $10 to $30 a month.
“We’ve done a lot of test sessions, but once we target thousands and thousands of people, we need to see how they interact with the app,” Rollock said. “From there we need to discover what features they like the most and what features they don’t like. With the premium model, we don’t want to take away features they love.”