If you want to hook up or judge people for fun, there's Tinder. But if you want to meet someone you could start a relationship with, Hinge is the app for you. Now in 28 cities across the States, Hinge just raised a $12 million Series A led by Shasta Ventures to expand internationally. Hinge for iOS and Android looks like Tinder, but rather than show you just anyone in your age range, Hinge only matches you with friends of friends its romance graph algorithm thinks you'll get along with. You still swipe right or left depending on if you think someone's cute, but Hinge wants to find you mates where the attraction is more than skin deep. Hinge is the thinking man's/woman's Tinder. With swipeable dating apps suddenly a global phenomenon, it looks like it's still early days in the romance market. Hinge doesn't want to be some old fogey dating service like Match.com, but founder Justin McLeod thinks there's room for something more mature. As Shasta's Nikhil Basu Trivedi writes, "Relationships are core to life. We believe that new, large companies will emerge in the dating market." The new round, which includes Lowercase, Great Oaks, Eniac, and CAA Ventures brings Hinge to over $20 million in funding. McLeod tells me that will let it stave off monetization, likely until at least 2016. In the meantime, the founder wants to make the app smoother, snappier, smarter, and better at chat. While he stayed cagey on specifics, McLeod hinted he was working on a better way to actually schedule and go on dates with people you meet on Hinge. Considering just about everyone wants a special someone, there may be plenty of room for multiple takes on the dual-approval dating apps. McLeod says he knows most of Hinge's users are also on Tinder, but hopes when they want something meaningful, they'll open his app. Hinge in the streets, Tinder in the sheets, if you will.
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