Ever since BeReal became popular among Gen Zers, giving them a platform to be their true selves rather than scrolling through heavily edited content, there’s been a rise in social apps that cater to this craving for authenticity and connection. Swsh is a social app founded by Gen Zers, for Gen Zers that wants to help strengthen true friendships – as opposed to surface-level relationships with followers.
The app is essentially a mobile version of the “Most Likely To” game, which has existed for ages and rarely fails to liven up a party. It’s also great as an icebreaker when meeting someone new or catching up with a group of friends, whether virtually or in person.
Every night at 9 PM, Swsh users answer five daily “Most Likely To” questions with their friends, voting on who is the most likely to “dance with a stranger” or “party till 3 AM then work out at 6 AM.” Users collect superlatives and points for how many votes they earn. There’s also a comment section where users can debate about which friend best fits the description.
The polls are powered by Open AI’s ChatGPT and curated by Swsh’s team of four, Swsh co-founder and CEO Alexandra Debow explained to TechCrunch.
In addition to polls, Swsh will gradually test and roll out more in-app experiences “that feel natural to people you meet IRL and as a way to make it fun to keep in touch with them after,” Debow said, mentioning capabilities like posting photos after an event is over and the ability to share voice memos.
Swsh launched its public beta in September, with an official launch slated for early 2024. The app is currently only available on iOS devices. An Android version is coming soon.
The app’s name stems from “See you again, somewhere, somehow,” a saying Debow coined after growing tired of saying goodbye to so many friends. As a Canadian born and raised in Hong Kong, Debow met a lot of expats who never stayed for long; she became frustrated with having to communicate with long-distance friends over social media.
“Social media confuses friendship with followers, and text chains back and forth feel draining,” Debow said. “We believe that a middle ground exists: an effortless and enjoyable way to build relationships you care about.”
Debow is also the founder of Alive Vibe, a virtual events marketplace; The Entrepre女ers Network, a network for female entrepreneurs; and The Why Wait? Women Entrepreneurship Collective, the first Gen-Z-led women entrepreneurship event in Shanghai.
Swsh has two other co-founders– Weilyn Chong (COO) and Nathan Ahn (CTO). Chong is an economics and computer science student at Princeton University and a board member at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. She also co-founded the Entrepre女ers Network. Ahn studied computer science at Yale and was a software engineer intern at Meta.
Debow and Chong spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt last month.
The startup recently secured $1.7 million in pre-seed funding, which will help build the product as well as bring on engineering hires. The round was co-led by Stellation Capital and MaC Venture Capital, along with notable angels Glenn Solomon, Cory Levy (Z Fellows), Cyril Berdugo, Patrick de Picciotto, Ansh Nanda and Richard Li, among others.
“Consumer social has a history of being reinvented by young people: Facebook, Instagram and Snap are just a few canonical examples,” Peter Boyce, founder of Stellation Capital, said. “If everything works out, a young founding team like Swsh could earn their spot next, inventing a new consumer platform that shapes how we spend time with the people we care for in our lives.”