CarpeDM, a Techstars portfolio company, today announced the closing of its oversubscribed pre-seed financing round bringing total capital raised by the early stage startup to $1.054 million. CarpeDM is a tech-enabled matchmaking service and patented video-based dating app designed to help professional Black women, and all those seeking to date them, find love.
The Black woman-owned, minority female-led company is co-founded by Howard University School of Law alumnae and best friends Naza Shelley and Sali Hama. As a successful attorney, Naza was tired of wasting time swiping through a sea of incompatible matches and going on disappointing first dates. “Online dating is time consuming and not built with Black women in mind. So we created a dating service that puts our needs first.”
Naza said, “I am grateful to our investors who not only believe in our mission, but also respect us as business women and see the huge market opportunity in what we’re building.”
The financing round includes Elevate Capital, CarpeDM’s largest investor. “Naza Shelley and Sali Hama are impressive professional leaders who embody the spirit and ethos of Elevate Capital: maximizing human potential to effect change,” said Nitin Rai, Elevate Capital Founder and Managing Partner. We believe CarpeDM will disrupt the dating experience for professional Black women by helping them spend less time searching and more time experiencing meaningful connections. We look forward to helping Naza and Sali realize their vision and achieve success.”
Other investors include: Virginia Venture Partners, Conscious Venture Fund, Overlooked Ventures, Forefront Capital, Pipeline Angels, Gaingels and CAV Angels. Additionally, CarpeDM is currently participating in the inaugural class of the Techstars Washington DC Powered by J.P. Morgan accelerator. “We sought startups with extraordinary teams that were demonstrating promising early traction in solving problems that address large markets, which describes CarpeDM perfectly. We’re delighted to have Naza and Sali in our first class!” said Techstars Managing Director, Keith Camhi.
CarpeDM is a subscription service and exclusive community for high quality singles. It’s currently available in the Washington D.C. area. In a move to promote transparency and safety in online dating, CarpeDM has pioneered 100% member background checks. It verifies identity, employment, income, and criminal history through its proprietary one-on-one interview process and with its accredited background check partner, KarmaCheck. If you pass the screening process, you’ll receive both handpicked and algorithm curated matches. To test chemistry, matches are required to have a 5-to-10 minute video-chat before deciding whether to remain matched and date in real life.
Whether you’re a Black woman or someone looking to build a meaningful relationship with one, CarpeDM invites you to apply to join its exclusive community.