Building a viral drawing dating app

Making Monet: raising $500k and making 500k matches

I took a gap year after my freshman year of college because of COVID. At 18 years old, I co-founded Monet alongside friends from high school: Daniel, Jonathan, and Marc.  Monet is the dating + friendmaking app where you send a drawing to start the conversation.

I told a lot of stories and I wore a lot of hats— I led fundraising, social media, marketing, growth, community, content, and more. 

What initially started as a side project turned into a venture-backed startup (a world I was quite unprepared to navigate). Shoot me an email! I would love to chat about how I failed and what I learned / all the good and all the bad.


Daniel and I spent two months prototyping and user testing the early bones of the “drawing dating app”. 

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A dating app needs users in order to work. In October 2020, I made a TikTok asking people to try out Monet, and in the span of a day, got 500,000 views. Everything changed from here on out— within three weeks, 10,000 people joined the beta version of Monet on TestFlight, and 1,000 people joined the Monet Discord. 

October 2020 — launching Monet beta
May 2021 — launching Login With TikTok


I pitched Monet to tons of VCs (all while in my pajama pants). In December, we closed a $500k pre-seed round from Pear VC, Rarebreed Ventures, Sahil Lavingia (Gumroad founder), and other angel investors. 



App Store copy
In-app profile prompts

We had a lot of cool opportunities. For Valentine’s Day, we launched The Perfect Heart Contest: draw the perfect heart to win $1,000. I pitched TikTok a Monet integration, created and managed a college ambassador program, partnered with a tattoo artist to raise money... 

Monet shut down at the end of 2022. We sent all users a notification and asked people to leave a message if they found love— as far as I know, Monet has created (at least) 2 engagements. It worked!