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In the age of metaverse, this social media app picks $540K pre-seed to promote in-person connections

Linkup founders
Image credits: Linkup

The covid-19 lockdown was painful but of course, there has also been a more positive side to social media in lockdown. A lot of social media startups blossomed, and Linkup was one of them. Now, the Manchester-based social media app has grabbed over $540K in a pre-seed funding round. 

A study showed that up to 20% of adolescents experienced a mental health disorder during the pandemic. This is where Linkup comes to the rescue as it lets people connect in the real world and meet like-minded people in real life, so they can socialise and network more instead of spending time on phones or screens to communicate.

The pre-seed round of Linkup saw various investors including music artists, footballers and angel investors coming together. Notable names include Krept & Konan music artist duo; Callum Airey (Calfreezy on YouTube) and UK App development company Tappable. The investment will help the team lay the foundations to fully develop the app and hit the market this year. 

Linkup is prepping to launch the free-to-download app in Q4 2022. Confirming to TFN in an exclusive interview, the co-founders of Linkup including Jack Peagam and Ben Whatson say, “The app is currently open for pre-registration, and the official launch is planned for September this year.”

How does the app work?

While the world is gradually making a paradigm shift towards the metaverse, Linkup basically offers users to connect with individuals in their area in real-time to make socialising “easy to arrange and enjoy.” The idea is that in the post-pandemic world people have been finding it difficult to get back into the real world and form new relationships.

Peagam and Whatson explain, “Users can then chat through the app, be sent the location and stay connected on the details of the linkup.” Emphasizing on the safety of the users, both the founders say, “Safety is a big priority, users are required to sign up with a valid mobile phone number meaning no fake emails can be created for accounts, and there’s an integrated system of blocking and removing users if rules are broken.”

Linkup works very differently from other social apps already out there. The aim is to connect people together and provide a space where users can make new friends, discover new passions and find a community. It’s a seamless addition to any user’s social experience and offers a way for people to connect in person when the digital connection is at an all-time high. Other apps in the industry aim to keep users connected through a screen; for Linkup, the goal is to make the initial connection online and then take the meeting off screen and in person. 

Founded by British entrepreneurs

Linkup was founded in 2021 by Jack Peagam and Ben Whatson, two British entrepreneurs where Jack Peagam is a former filmmaker and Ben Whatson, a Social Media Manager at leading marketing firm McCann Manchester, both of whom have founded previous startup ventures in the fitness and fashion industries. 

Talking about how Linkup is different from other social media apps, the founders highlight, “We aim to provide a seamless space where users can make new friends, discover new passions and find a community. Other apps in the industry aim to keep users connected through a screen; for Linkup, the goal is to make the initial connection online and then take the meeting off screen and in person.”

Recently, the UK-based app startup also partnered with app development firm Tappable to develop the app from the ground up. Users can swipe through different types of linkups, from sociable drinks to a game of tennis and then request to join. Once accepted, they’ll be added to a group chat, which features all the event details, including location – and integrated safety features.

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