David Klippel and Luke Fraker were both working their way through busy first semesters at The Wharton School’s MBA program while trying to find time to spend with their respective romantic partners.
They were hardly alone — lots of Wharton students were struggling to find time for their social and romantic lives, they were finding. They were looking for solutions, but existing resources pointed to options like couples therapy.
“We wanted to help couples build and maintain healthy relationship patterns,” Klippel told Technical.ly.
Over the next several semesters, the pair talked to about 75 peers and interviewed practicing relationship therapists about their idea for an app that would allow both people in a couple to engage with each other, play games and “check in.” coBlossom was born, and the cofounding pair spent the summer of 2021 building a beta and launching it to friends.
“We discovered that couples loved the activities, but also wanted something more engaging,” Klippel said. “People wanted to build a shared world together, that represented their relationship growth.”
After months of beta testing and updates, coBlossom launched on the app store in May 2022. The app allows folks in a couple to play mini-games together; track relationship growth, memories and progress; and connect with other couple friends. The app might prompt you to share how you’re currently feeling with your partner, help you pick a date night spot, or even choose a movie to watch on Netflix.
The pair reasoned: If you can find a partner on a dating app, why not use an app to maintain your relationship well-being? After graduating a few weeks ago, the Fitler Square residents will work on the app full-time, with Klippel as the company’s co-CEO and Fraker as its co-CEO and CTO. They also brought on relationship therapist Alexandria Dobrikovic as an advisor for the content and strategy of the app.
While they expect users from across the US, many are in Philly, as they’ve advertised in coffee shops and other date locations in the city the last few months. The pair have won some prize money from pitch competitions and have bootstrapped the company so far, but are currently raising a pre-seed round that will allow them to expand the engineering team.
When coBlossom went live on May 17, it had 1,5000 couples signed up for its waitlist, and its daily active users are coming into the app an average of seven times a day, the cofounders said. Currently, use of the app is totally free, premium features will be introduced soon. They envision adding APIs from apps like Yelp and Netflix to allow couples to “swipe right” on movies or restaurants they’d enjoy.
Features that will remain free include a feed of memories and actives from the app, date ideas and a prompt for an emotional check-in. The app allows one person to pick an emoji to reflect how they’re currently feeling, and share how they’re feeling.
“You can see each other’s emotional graph, and that can trigger a conversation you need to have,” Fraker said.
The pair said they’ve also piloted a student ambassador program which they plan to deploy more broadly, as students often come into college with a long-distance relationship or are forming new ones during a busy academic year. They also plan on expanding features that will allow couples to see what their friends are doing on the app, and get inspired by date ideas.
“The more couples we see on the platform, the more valuable it’ll be for everyone,” Klippel said.