SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IRL, the company committed to helping people have a healthier and happier relationship to technology, today announced the IRL - Social Calendar and $11 million in funding from leading consumer tech investors Goodwater Capital, Founders Fund and Kleiner Perkins. Additionally, Mike Maples, an early investor in Twitter who played a critical role in shaping both the company and the social media market-at-large, was IRL’s first venture investor and has joined the company’s board of directors.
IRL is building off of its success over the past year where it has garnered over 2 million users, with more than 1.3 million of these active monthly. In total since launch, users have invited each other out to events -- concerts, gatherings, games, etc. -- over 200 million times. Among its most active users, IRL was used as a social calendar. The company took this insight and reimagined what a truly social calendar would look like.
Today IRL unveiled a major upgrade to its app. It has taken the Web 1.0 feel of boring calendars and transformed them with the social engagement of Instagram and simplicity of Apple. The IRL - Social Calendar allows people to easily share and sync calendars with friends, bring in local public events and follow their favorite sports teams, musicians, celebrities and local venues so they never miss out on anything.
“We created the IRL - Social Calendar because as amazing as technology is for connecting people, it’s been equally destructive and isolating. People have become so addicted to their phones and to social media that they forget how to live and connect in person, which leads to consequences that are just beginning to come to light,” said Abe Shafi, co-founder and CEO of IRL. “We want to use technology to bring in-person experiences back in a way that makes it easy and comfortable for all.”
On average, U.S. consumers spend five hours on their phones each day, and nowhere is this trend more worrisome than with teens. Several recent studies have found a link between smartphone usage and teen depression and suicide. To combat these trends, IRL designed an app to boost its users’ self-confidence and take away the anxiety and social pressure of inviting friends to hang out in real life.
The IRL - Social Calendar app, which is available exclusively on iOS, addresses this by making it incredibly simple for users to find or create real-life events, activities and experiences that matter to them. They can invite others who respond through any mode of communication they like-- email, text, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp or on IRL. The app helps coordinate everything, eliminating all of the back-and-forth associated with planning even the most basic in-person gatherings. It also solves the problem of group messaging that automatically opts people into a thread that they may not want to be part of. For those already using another calendar, IRL will be a seamlessly integrated social layer on top of their current calendar. For everyone else, IRL will become their default calendar.
“Our goal is to get people to show up for and experience their lives to the fullest with the people they care about. To this end, we’ve recruited some of most influential pioneers in social media to help us develop the next phase of social-- a better, more responsible version than what we’ve seen over the last decade,” said Scott Banister, co-founder and first investor of IRL. “The social calendar is a major step in our product evolution. IRL aims to ensure that all the elements you need for a fun live experience come together with ease.”
“IRL has tapped into the fundamental human need to spend time communicating with other humans-- and doing so in person. Texts and social media interactions are not enough,” said Chi-Hua Chien, partner at Goodwater Capital. “IRL - Social Calendar is a truly unique social platform that takes what a person likes and wants to do out in the world and connects it to friends with the focused intent of spending time together away from their computer or phone. We are excited to be a part of this mission and look forward to helping IRL execute on its ambitious plans and bold vision.”
To start building your social calendar on IRL, download the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play today.
IRL - Social Calendar is an app that makes it easy and fun to send and receive invites to hang out with friends in real life. It also helps users track the events that matter to them while managing social calendaring. The company, started by technology veterans Abe Shafi and Scott Banister, is based in San Francisco. It is backed by Goodwater Capital, Founders Fund, Kleiner Perkins, prominent angel investors including Mike Maples. To learn more, visit www.irl.com or download the free app from the App Store or Google Play.