Dubai-based mobile social platform PlayDate (Play:Date) that helps parents build their child’s social circles has raised $250,000 in a round led by New York-based Modus Capital (that has offices in Cairo & Dubai), it announced in a statement last week.
Founded in 2017 by Shamim Kassibawi, PlayDate enables parents to engage with each other based on the interests and personalities of their children, through its mobile app for iOS and Android. The app can be used to find like-minded parents and children and schedule play dates with them.
Parents create profiles for the child with their details including display name, gender, date of birth, and the language(s) they speak (wherever applicable). They can also add preferences in the form of age-group and gender for who do they want their kid (or toddler) to meet. In addition to these options, the parents can list favorite activities and playing the environment of their children too.
So what PlayDate is trying to do is build an social network for families with young kids (and toddlers). Even though it allows parents from all over the world to connect with each other, it seems that the focus is on creating local connections so the families could meet and engage offline.
The app that currently has over 3,500 members (mainly in the United Arab Emirates and United States) also provides families with discounts and deals from different brands and hosts regular playdate tours at various play areas (virtually during Covid-19).
Shamim Kassibawi, founder & CEO of PlayDate, said, “The opportunity to work with Modus Capital poses exciting expansion opportunities for PlayDate. We decided to work with them as they are not your typical venture capitalist’s that are solely focused on investing, instead they actively assist entrepreneurs by supporting with strategies and high-growth prospects. Additionally, we required a firm that had presence not only in the region but also in the US, as it is currently our biggest market outside the UAE.”
Kareem Elsirafy, Managing Partner, Modus Capital, said, “We’re ecstatic to add PlayDate to the Modus Capital portfolio, and support them in their next stage of growth and international expansion. They are tackling a major connectivity and discovery pain-point for early parents that we see a major demand for in both MENA and US markets, and they’re doing so in the most innovative ways.”
“PlayDate as a female-founded and predominantly employed company, a cornerstone of Shamim’s startup culture-building, was also a major decisive factor in our decision to invest. We’re keen to support socially impactful companies and PlayDate fit the criteria on multiple levels,” he added.