A new queer tech startup based in Philadelphia and New York plans to tackle gender inclusivity, harassment, body positivity, safe sex and feminism with a brand new dating app. Named “Sapiens,” its focus is on respect, empowerment and authenticity in the online LGBTQ dating scene. The creators are launching a Kickstarter campaign that is set for September 1st to fund what they are calling “a revolutionary approach to online dating.”
“Sapiens was made for anyone who has been invalidated, made to feel unsafe, treated like a piece of meat, or just had an unhealthy online dating experience,” said Tara Taylor, co-founder, president and chief advocacy officer of Sapiens. “The features we’ve created at Sapiens are designed to restore your faith in a platform — to preserve your authenticity, integrity, and your control over your dating experience.”
Founded by two queer-identified individuals in 2015, Dating Sapiens, Inc., the company behind Sapiens, has a small team representing a broad spectrum of identities and backgrounds that includes Aym Icon, the CEO of Transcendence Icon Company and Icon Endorsed Consulting Group. Icon also serves as the Chief Brand Officer of Sapiens as well.
There are currently no other mainstream dating apps that cater to the entire gender spectrum and serve all sexual orientations — including those that do not subscribe to one. Historically, underrepresented cultural and gender communities have often faced social exclusion while navigating current apps, such as Grindr. Dating Sapiens Inc. is trying to changing the online dating environment by actively pushing to represent LGBTQIA, polyamorous, differently-abled, and STI+ individuals.
“Our core values when creating our revolutionary dating app were simplistic in nature, yet obvious to the masses of users unhappy with their experience they found with other apps — as simple as respect and relationships,” said Lexi Lipari, co-founder and chief financial officer of Sapiens. “We created our revolutionary concept founded in the understanding that a dating app should be built for and with real people in mind … people are complex and deserving of respect in the world and online.”
The Kickstarter campaign plans to continue until the end of the Fall. The startup plans to use the funding to enhance the app’s design by increasing their diverse tech team, purchase additional server space, and to compensate community professionals who contributed to the pre-revenue company in keeping with their stance on fair labor. The app is slated to be released to the public in January 2017.