This Austin Startup Wants to Make First Dates Feel More Meaningful

by Sophie Kalt
July 25, 2019
photo via swoovy

Sick of traditional dinner date set ups? Swoovy, an Austin-based startup, wants to make sure your next first date is more meaningful.

Swoovy is an online dating app that matches individuals and sets them up on volunteer dates. Users create profiles highlighting gender, age, interests and height. They also select causes they care most about — but choosing different causes will not restrict you from finding your most suitable match. 

People are looking for new ways to find meaningful connections.”

Whether its packaging food to send to the elderly, creating art with homeless people to help them make an income, or attending doggie adoption events, there are endless opportunities for users to meet their matches while helping a good cause.

“People are looking for new ways to find meaningful connections,” said co-founder Brooke Waupsh, adding that community service as a first date has its fair share of perks.

For starters, it’s cost-efficient, convenient to plan, and takes place in a group setting, which eases the pressure off a one-on-one date. And if the match isn’t right, which is very common on the first try for many dating apps, the user doesn’t feel as though they wasted their time or money.

For nonprofits on the platform, benefits include exposure and motivated volunteers. 

“Organizations want active volunteers but have a hard time tapping into a mainstream audience,” said Waupsh.

Waupsh said the idea for Swoovy came from the realization that many young professionals are facing the same two challenges: meeting a partner and finding time to give back

“There are so many people spending their time finding a partner to fulfill that personal piece of their life, so I thought, why not do both?” she said.

Since Swoovy’s launch last November, the app has gained over 3,000 users. The company is growing organically through word of mouth and press. Brooke Waupsh was nominated for Austin under 40 and Swoovy was nominated in the Austin A list for Austin Innovation. 

Swoovy is coming out with some savvy new projects, including a desktop version of the app. Looking forward, the bootstrapped company will continue to focus on fundraising to grow its Austin team and expand in other markets.

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