Dark social media app Howbout picks almost £2M to plan and schedule gatherings

Neil Tanna, CEO and co-founder, Howbout
Image credit: Howbout

Howbout, a London-based app startup that makes it easier for groups of friends to make plans, has picked up a total of £1.92 million from investors, including ACF Investors (which recently backed Oxford Medical Simulation and Silveray), Supernode Global, Boost Capital, and angel investors Claire Valoti (senior advisor Snap Inc.) and Desigan Chinniah (ex-Paypal and Skype).

Global expansion plans

The funding will be used to support the Howbout app’s global expansion, hire new personnel and invest in research and development. This total round close announcement comes after the £1 million seed round led by Supernode Global and co-led by Boost Capital which the company raised earlier this year.

Neil Tanna, Co-founder, and CEO, commented, “Being spontaneous is really hard. Howbout works to make it really easy to go from planning to plan-made. It’s been an awesome start: “We’ve seen really exciting growth since we launched and the feedback has been great. This investment is a massive boost for our plans to expand to new markets and improve our tech even more.”

Tim Mills, Managing Partner at ACF Investors said “Howbout’s organic global growth is a testament to how much value users are getting out of this app. The existing social media giants are so often in the headlines – rarely for a good reason – that we forget that this is an area that is actually ripe for innovation. We’re seeing users turn away from public forum environments and towards more private, more thoughtfully curated spaces that are full of people they care about. With Gen Z particularly enthusiastic about this new wave of social, it’s a very exciting time, and Howbout has a fantastic chance of being a major success story.”

Dark social media app

Currently, social media giants face intense pressure as users are sick of privacy invasions and toxic behaviour and advertisers are losing faith and wiping billions from share prices. In response to this, a wave of dark social media platforms like BeReal, Discord, and Howbout offer an alternative that prioritises privacy, close-knit communities and personal connections.

Howbout was founded by Neil Tanna, a former corporate lawyer alongside friends post-university, Jake Jenner, a former investment banker, and Duncan Cowan, a software and electrical systems engineer.

It is a private social network focused on friendships, unlike other platforms that focus on followers, fans and feeds. It aims to bring a user’s social life together in one place. The app lets users quickly make and schedule plans using instant availability scheduling tools or polls, chat directly on every plan, and build groups and shared calendars with their different social circles.

Howbout already has over 500,000 downloads to date and users in over 125 countries have made more than 3 million plans on it since its launch in August 2020. 100,000 plans now are made weekly on the app.

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