Hatched wants to scramble it up with its unique gamified user experience. Instead of using profile pictures, the dating app shows potential matches depicted as eggs, and the only way to see what they look like is by answering personality-driven questions, slowly opening the shell.
Today, the startup launched new in-app currency, “Yolks,” offering premium features, such as the ability to “super hatch” or super like a match.
Hatched is also announcing its East Coast expansion. Starting next month, the app is gradually rolling out to Virginia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Boston and Pennsylvania. It recently rolled out to Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi.
The idea of blind dating isn’t new, and major dating apps Tinder and Bumble have already hopped on the bandwagon. However, rather than leaving it up to you to think of an opening line, Hatched provides questions that uncover similar character similarities, which, in theory, fosters a deeper connection.
“There have been ample studies that say the more similar you are to your soulmate, the more successful your relationship is potentially going to be,” CEO and co-founder Mitch Alterman told TechCrunch.
You’ll know you responded the same when the egg shakes and “cracks” open one layer. If you answer differently, the egg flashes red, indicating it likely isn’t compatible. However, if you want to try again, an “Egg On” option allows you to answer a new question in hopes of securing the match. But the other match must also select “Egg On” to continue.
The questions are developed by a team of therapists and address core values, interests and character traits. For instance, “Do you believe in the phrase, ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’?” or “Would you consider yourself good at keeping up with friends?”
Your matches are located in your “Egg Carton,” which keeps track of the “hatching” process. For instance, if a potential match has yet to answer the first question, they’ll be in the “Goose Eggs” section at 0%. “Poached Eggs” are profiles that are 25% of the way unlocked, 50% is “Sunny Side Up,” 75% is “Hard-Boiled” and 100% is “Fully Hatched.”
One downside is that Hatched only gives you six daily matches. However, thanks to the new Yolks feature, you can now purchase six new eggs for 400 Yolks. Hatched is offering four bundles: $0.99 for 100 Yolks, $4.99 bundle for 750 Yolks, $9.99 for 2,000 Yolks and $19.99 for 5,000 Yolks.
In addition to buying a selection of new potential matches, you can spend 500 Yolks to Super Hatch someone, taking after major dating apps like Hinge’s Rose, Bumble’s SuperSwipe or Tinder’s Super Like. Meanwhile, 50 Yolks allows you to Egg On a potential match and 25 Yolks lets you Nudge a person that hasn’t responded to the question yet. The Nudge feature sends the desired user a push notification.
The dating app also plans to implement a subscription model, which is launching next year.
“All the in-app purchases we rolled out will be in our subscription plans,” Alterman shared with us. “We are also looking into additional features like read receipts… alcohol use filters, political filters and other match preferences.”
Plus, Hatched is in the process of building out a selfie verification system. The company is in talks with moderation partners, including Hive, which is used by Reddit, Tango and Chatroulette.
Founded by Alterman, Sam Lukens (COO) and Reeves Kissel (CTO), Hatched launched to the public this year on Valentine’s Day. It touts 10,000 monthly active users with an average month-over-month growth of 30%. The company raised $1 million in pre-seed funding from angel investors, including an Atlanta Hawks executive.
The app is available for download in select cities on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.