Is Happn The Next Big Thing In Mobile Dating?

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When it comes to mobile dating, every company has just one goal right now: beat Tinder. The latest app to attempt the feat is Happn, a new mobile dating service from Fabien Cohen, Didier Rappaport, and Antony Cohen.

Like most mobile dating apps, Happn uses your phone's location to show you potential matches. Every time you cross someone's path, that person’s profile is added to the top of your feed. It works much like the app Highlight, but for your love life. The goal is to save the world from missed connections, augment coincidence, and boost luck. That cutie you keep running into in your local coffee shop but never say hi to? Happn is where you connect.

When you open the app, you're presented with the grid view of all your latest encounters. Scroll down if you want to go further back in time. Tap a profile to access all the normal features you expect from a dating app. Indicate that you like someone in order to discover if there is mutual interest, then begin a conversation. Note that, unlike Tinder, users can chat with anyone using credits, even if there is no match.

“The app tells you the story of your life through your movements,” co-founder, CEO, and former Dailymotion COO Didier Rappaport told TechCrunch. “The newsfeed personalization is really important. It’s based on real life and this is key. It could be people you’ve crossed paths with and that you really wanted to see on Happn, it could also be someone you came across 44 times because you live in the same area.”

The company is still relatively small, but last year French VC firm Alven Capital invested a significant amount of money in a seed round. Happn is now available in three countries and is gaining traction. Since its official launch in March 2014, around 200,000 people have installed the app. Happn has 40,000 daily active users in Paris, 10,000 daily active users in London, and in Berlin, after only one month, between 7000 and 10,000 daily active users.

The numbers are small compared to the massive competition Happn faces, but they’re strong for a company in such early stages. And now that its user base is building, Happn stands to hit it big. The company plans to launch its app in every major European city over the course of the next eight months, and maybe even in a big city outside Europe.