We Got Funded: Dubai-Based Social Media App ASKWHO Raises US$1 Million In A Seed Funding Round Founded in 2019 by Michael Askew and Matthew Gaziano, ASKWHO aims to help users form connections and make friends with like-minded individuals, as well as foster a sense of community.

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ASKWHO co-founders Michael Askew and Matthew Gaziano

Dubai-based social media networking app ASKWHO has successfully raised US$1 million in a seed funding round from a number of undisclosed angel investors.

Founded in 2019 by Michael Askew and Matthew Gaziano, ASKWHO aims to help users form connections and make friends with like-minded individuals, as well as foster a sense of community. Designed to improve people's mental health and promote belonging within a local community, users can join localized group discussion pages catering to particular interests such as fitness, outdoors, art, lifestyle, travel, and wellness within a certain city.

Launching a new venture in the social media networking sector may be a challenge, but Askew, CEO of ASKWHO, is confident in his enterprise's distinct offering: "Our USP is meeting new people in the city we live. There's no other dedicated platform focused on connecting like-minded people using localized groups and interests." On regional and global competitors, Askew explains, "ASKWHO is a mixture of Meetup, Facebook Groups and a "people's' Instagram. We believe we are better than Meetup due to our unique algorithms, matching like-minded people within the app. This makes it easier to get along and [makes] meet ups more enjoyable. Facebook has millions of groups, so it's not difficult to see how people get lost."

Source: ASKWHO

He elaborates, "During our research, we found that people become overwhelmed when searching [for groups] so they give up. We've simplified the process and made the groups ourselves, so the user doesn't have to waste time searching." He also points out how the platform compares to Instagram: "For most people, Instagram represents an unobtainable lifestyle, we wanted to build a platform where everyone's voice is welcomed and heard by our supportive community. There are no popularity algorithms if you post it will be seen. We feel this is so important due to the increasing pressures to be "Instagram perfect." We just want you to be you!"

The app is available to download for free on Apple's App Store, and it will soon be featured on Google Play. Premium account users can also unlock additional features for AED24.99 per month. According to Askew, the app's traction has exceeded their expectations, with user base "tripling month on month" since launch. "We are also noticing a large growing number of organic installs through word-of-mouth, and we are excited to see how we can now focus and build on top of this success," he adds.

As for the future, the team plans to use its latest capital to scale up the user base and continue to work with customers to improve their product. Askew reveals, "Looking ahead to the end of the year, we would like to close our Series A funding round, and launch in other markets at the beginning of 2023."

Related: We Got Funded: MENA-Based Edtech Platform Playbook Raises US$700,000 In A Pre-Seed Funding Round

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