Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Pair App for Couples Strikes a Chord in First Four Days

One start-up that caught my eye at Y Combinator’s supersized Demo Day today is Pair, which makes a smartphone app to help two people in a relationship stay in touch and share little moments with each other.

Pair's "thumbkiss" feature vibrates two users' phones when they virtually touch thumbs.

I’m four days behind covering Pair’s launch, but in that time it’s been downloaded 50,000 times, with users sharing 1 million messages — pretty impressive growth for an app that’s not really viral at all, given only two people would ever be connected on it at a time.

Four days is too short to measure retention, but each couple on Pair is sharing an average of 30 messages per day, said co-founder Aswinkumar Rajendiran.

The Pair app is pretty rudimentary, and only available on the iPhone now, but the idea makes a lot of sense. Plus, you have to give them a little credit; when the team started at Y Combinator in January they were building a 3-D CAD app for tablets.

Pair goes a bit beyond just being a more private and intimate version of the same photos and messages you’d share on Facebook, Instagram and Path, as there are some features specific to couples. For instance, one cute idea is a “thumbkiss,” where users can press their thumbs against their screens at the time. When the thumbs line up, the two phones vibrate. Beat that, FaceTime!

Pair told investors at Demo Day that it will soon close its funding round, with participation from SV Angel and Dave Morin.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google