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”.
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.
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.
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!