A social media platform designed to organise events and groups without the stress of doom-scrolling has secured $4 million in a seed round led by global investor Square Peg.
Founded in London in 2022 by Wulfie Bain and Australian expat Jack Symonds, Lounge is a digital platform that allows users to ‘organise events and groups in seconds, without a newsfeed’.
The platform also enables users to create communities and discover groups, with the idea being there are no other app functionalities to distract them from connecting with others. To date, around a quarter of a million people have used the software.
The latest $4 million funding round, which also received backing from Sydney-based VC Carthona Capital, will be used to expand the team and accelerate product development.
“Square Peg is a globally renowned, independently-minded, lead investor with a portfolio that speaks for itself containing the likes of Canva, Stripe, Airwallex, LottieFiles and more,” Symonds said.
“There was an instant respect and cultural fit that has continued and improved since the first meeting. We were also incredibly fortunate to have Carthona Capital join us from day one.
“They have added value essentially every four weeks since we started, and they doubled down on their investment in the second round - you can't ask for more".
Lounge has been adopted on almost every major university campus in the UK and Ireland, with early usage in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
"Jack and Wulfie came to us with just an idea 18 months ago, and now they have a widely-used product in multiple countries. It’s been great to see the consistent progress,”Carthona Capital partner Dean Dorrell said.
Both Bain and Symonds are passionate about privacy and mental health, with the latter having swam the English Channel in 2021 to raise more than $250,000 for the Black Dog Institute and Butterfly Foundation.
The premise of Lounge is to try and put user wellbeing first, as society increasingly recognises the negative impact of traditional social media on mental health.
According to a survey run by British market research firm YouGov last month, more than half of the 1,030 Australian adults polled believed social media was responsible for a decline in their mental health.
The survey also found that the vast majority (75 per cent) of members in Generation Z believed social media was completely or somewhat responsible for a decline in their mental health.
“Most of our competitors are multi-billion dollar companies or oligopolies - so consumer standards for product are high,” Wulfie said.
“The team is really focused on improving the platform every day and strengthening our points of difference from our competitors.
“We’re lucky to have investors who have gone through this journey before and provide invaluable advice.”
The news of Lounge’s raise comes just a year since Square Peg announced it had secured USD$550 million (AUD$859 million) for investment in both early and late-stage tech companies in Southeast Asia, Australia and Israel.
Square Peg partner Dan Krasnostein said that Lounge team is extremely high calibre and are winning market share every day.
“Each call has significant updates - it’s really exciting."
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