Shapr, a Paris, France and New York-based provider of a professional networking app, raised $9.5m in funding.
Backers included Franck Riboud, chairman of Dannon, the Bouygues family and the Afflelou family.
The company will use the funds to hire 15 employees for its Paris and New York offices in the next 12 months and launch Shapr Premium, a paid subscription model.
Led by CEO and Co-Founder Ludovic Huraux, Shapr provides a professional networking app that enables people to make meaningful connections with relevant professionals. To get started, users select up to ten interests such as #Startups, #AI or #GraphicDesign. People are also encouraged to add a few more personal interests such as #Meditation or #Running. The app then uses a proprietary algorithm to curate a daily selection of 15 profiles to browse, making the networking experience highly relevant, manageable and enjoyable.
Available for iOS and Android as a free app, Shapr now counts over half a million users.
It has generated more than 3 million professional matches in 2017 alone. Over the last year, Shapr has helped professionals in the US, UK, and France to find investors and cofounders, launch new businesses, and sign new job offers.
Before the end of the year, Shapr Premium will launch, offering Shapr users more options to enhance their networking experience. Upcoming features include the option to browse up to 50 profiles per day, increasing the number of potential matches. In addition, the Premium version will include manual location settings, so that users can set up meetings before heading to a new destination or continue to network remotely while traveling.
Additional features will be announced later this year.