Investors in the round include Corigin Ventures, X-Factor Ventures, and Tusk Ventures, with angels Michelle Kennedy (Peanut), Andy Dunn (Bonobos) Amanda Bradford (The League), Rei Wang (The Grand), Bumble Fund, Elisabeth Hartley, Tavi Gevinson, Nisha Dua, A.G. Breitenstein, Albert Lee, Alice Cheng, Justin Stefano, Piera Gelardi, Philippe von Borries, Debbie Millman and Roxane Gay. Female Founders Fund led the round.
Short for Lexicon, Lex was founded by Kell Rakowski, who had initially increased to some prominence after beginning an Instagram account called Herstory that curated cool lesbian content from the 1800s to the 90s, including the Personals Advertisements found in the backs of lesbian erotica publications from the 80s.
” [The personal advertisements] were just so hot, therefore cool,” stated Rakowski. “They were actually amusing and the females were extremely direct, and were able to express themselves in a really clear and inspiring method.”
Rakowski had a concept: What if the queer individual advertisement returned? She asked her Herstory fans if they ‘d want to post their own personals and the facility rapidly took off, with numerous personal ads flooding in over the two-day duration every month where submissions were open.
The popularity of the format led to yet another idea. Rakowski chose to establish a dating/social app that was concentrated on these text-based individual ads for women, trans, genderqueer and non-binary individuals.
Lex, which launched on the App Shop in November 2019, is an MVP that does simply that.
Users can establish their own profile and post personals, and can browse the feed of other personals and like the ones that stimulate their interest. While the personals themselves can be rather graphic, the app is not. There are currently no images on Lex, with the caution that users can connect out to their Instagram account if they so pick.
Rather, users can browse through the text-based personals and like them, or message the author of the personal to launch a conversation.
Moreover, unlike your standard dating apps, there is no mutuality needed to begin a private conversation. Simply put, individuals don’t have to be ‘matched’ to chat. Much like the individual advertisements of yesteryear, the author sends out a require actions and the reactions flow in.
It’s still early days for the app, but Rakowski has strategies to set up the ability to publish images to profiles (which would not be consisted of in the feed, but would be clickable must the text intrigue you), as well as including group chat to the app for folks that are seeking to develop community.
Lex likewise has strategies to eventually present a freemium membership design to the app, giving users extended performance for a monthly price. For now, however, the focus is on growth and building out the app.
With the brand-new funding, Lex is looking to employ underrepresented skill in tech for item and engineering positions. The group, comprised of 5 individuals, is currently 80 percent cis women and 20 percent cis men, with 80 percent identifying as LGBTQ. 3 of the 5 staff member are people of color.
Lex is being aggressive about this working with sprint, posting its employment opportunities on the app and on Instagram.
“I’ve gotten so many amazing queer tech talent requesting positions at Lex,” said Rakowski. “It’s so motivating and also psychological. Individuals are writing the most gorgeous emails about just how much they like Lex. Hiring is 100 percent our main focus.”
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.