The efforts of two co-founders alone were not enough to compete with the well-funded companies in this space.
Unfortunately, this comes at a time when Siren showed strong traction—relocation and expansion to New York, the formation of key partnerships, and user success stories that let us know we were onto something special.” Founded in 2014 by Lee and co-founder Katrina Hess, who served as COO, Siren differentiated itself from other dating apps by prioritizing women’s safety and allowing users to engage through their answers to daily questions provided by local businesses and local cultural icons.
“Through the dedication of these committed individuals we were able to continue development, however we could never plan beyond a few months, hindering growth, milestones, and new funding opportunities.” In an interview with Geek Wire, Lee said that “all closing docs had been signed, but [Blackrun Ventures] never completed their commitment.” “Instead, they issued small, unpredictable tranches, often with months in between, despite sometimes daily requested updates and repeated assurances,” Lee noted.
Blackrun Ventures, which invested as part of its women-focused investment arm, still lists Siren on its portfolio page.
We’ve reached out to the firm for more details and will update this post when we hear back.
Update: On Friday, Blackrun responded to Geek Wire and provided this statement: “Blackrun Ventures joined a number of investors to participate in Siren’s 0,000 seed funding round.
“But without a way to harness and distribute funds for expansion, we simply could not grow fast enough.
The app relied on conversation as a starting point rather than long profiles or photo surfing.
“We’ve created the first mobile platform designed for unexpected and constructive flirting,” Lee told Geek Wire in 2014.
Durex reached out to us to partner on a marketing campaign #Connect that garnered over 37 million views.
We won Geekwire’s App of the year, beating Starbucks and Alaska Airlines in 2015. We spoke at Grace Hopper, the world’s largest conference on women in technology, and we partnered with experimental marketing group Hello Velocity on a viral Tinder hack that satirized the objectification inherent in the swipe-to-reject model.
Sound the alarm for women looking for something other than traditional dating apps: Siren is shutting down.