The Irish-founded social network, GirlCrew, has today launched its app in the US, coinciding with International Women’s Day, to provide women the opportunity to connect with like-minded women and expand their community of friends.
The network has raised a seed round of almost $1 million from investors, including LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner, Wrigley CMO Orla Mitchell, Reddit Director of Data Science Joe Gallagher, Aegis Corporate Strategy Managing Director Hazel Hutchinson, PCH Chief Executive Liam Casey, Stanford University Adjunct Professor Stuart Coulson, and Enterprise Ireland, Europe’s third largest seed investor. The funding will allow GirlCrew to expand across the US city by city, with thousands of women already on waiting lists to get the app.
GirlCrew has created a unique platform, available on iOS, Android and desktop, focused on connecting women for friendship and chats. Although a digital community, its aim is to facilitate in-person friendships, offering an additional channel in which to do so – find a group of girls to travel with, meet for coffee, start a business. Members can participate in online group chats and offline events such as brunch, hikes or nights out.
GirlCrew operates through an app available on iOS and Android, and a desktop platform (www.girlcrew.com). Women simply join the group for their city, such as Toronto or Vancouver, and there they can see what events are happening, read posts and comments from other members, write posts themselves and create events. They can also join GirlCrew topic groups such as Travel, Careers, Entrepreneurs, Fashion & Beauty, Fitness & Wellness, Bloggers, Dating Advice and Staying In.
Within the groups, members share tips, advice and knowledge on everything from getting a new job to finding a good restaurant for a first date. GirlCrew’s three female co-founders — Elva Carri, Pamela Newenham and Aine Mulloy — are passionate about enabling women to make friends, network in a social and professional capacity, seek advice and share knowledge.
Commenting on the purpose of the network, Co-CEO of GirlCrew, Pamela Newenham said, "We believe real friendships happen in person, however sometimes you need a nudge and an extra channel in order to meet these new like-minded people. So many people have either moved to a new city, or have found themselves at a different life stage to their friends, either because their friends are getting married, settling down etc. As a result, they need new friends, but making friends as an adult can be hard."
The start-up also runs a series of careers events in conjunction with Microsoft called GirlCrew Pro. The company has just renewed its partnership with GirlCrew for another year. Speaking this week, Microsoft Ireland CEO, Cathriona Hallahan said, "Throughout my career my network of colleagues, friends and mentors have continued to grow and have been, and continue to be, key to me on my career journey. The idea behind GirlCrew of a global network of women engaging, sharing ideas and learning from each other is a simple but effective one and I wish the GirlCrew team the best of luck for the future."