The Round dating app launches to evolve dating beyond the “Tinder swipe”

Published on April 18, 2019

How many of us would admit we’ve ‘ghosted’ a few people in the past?

Likely, few of us would share we’ve been on the receiving end of a potential suitor never calling you back. The dating landscape among millennials can often feel like you’ve opened a Pandora’s box of sorts—never really sure what you’ll get.

A new dating app, The Round, sets users up on dates within a few minutes. Think speed dating, but with a focus on connecting with their match and enjoying their date sans intimidation. The Round app vets each user in order to enhance user experience by matching them with a compatible person and curating a date within minutes.


In 2017, Austin, Texas-based Zachary Casler founded The Round (first as the aptly named “Dindr”). Casler started the venture as a way to help users approach dating with more intention and accountability in mind. Casler and his team told Grit Daily that after conducting market research with nearly 7,000 users, they’ll launch the app this summer. Currently, The Round has 500 active users in a rather “romantic” hot spot: Milan, Italy.

The Round app team includes CMO Emily Merrell of Six Degrees Society — a SF based women’s network — and CTO Abel Mak of Visa, with Casler at the helm. At the moment, the dating tech company has applied to three accelerators. In addition, Casler shared that The Round is also working to secure funding to expand the app’s reach.

The Round allows users to “match within minutes and meet.”
How it works

The Round, app sets users up on dates in a few minutes. Most importantly, Casler aims to “uncommoditize people” by empowering users to be more intentional with dating. Casler said: “Current dating apps create a culture where ghosting, flaking, and poor online behavior is not only tolerated but accepted as the norm.” He’s is confident users will continue to benefit from The Round’s “browse, match and meet” concept.

Casler realized that “online dating hasn’t evolved since 2012 with the creation of Tinder.” Casler is honest about why The Round’s focus is on user experience: Vet each user that enters into any matchmaking round. Casler’s goal is to move away from the notion that many dating apps tend to “commoditize people” by creating more accountability and connection with each compatible match.

“Using a dating app shouldn’t be a full-time job, nor should it be entertainment or a way to boost your ego.” —Zachary Casler, CEO of The Round

What users can expect
  • Browse a list of profiles during a ten-minute matchmaking round.
  • Customize when and were you’d ideally meet for a date on your profile.
  • Select a compatible match before the ten-minute matchmaking round is over.
  • Book a date with The Round’s suggested locations that evening, and within minutes, you’ve secured yourself a date.

In time, The Round hopes to enhance features like adding options to book dinner reservations, schedule a Lyft or an Uber via the app.

Couple enjoying a coffee date.

Users of The Round app can join when they sign-up by providing their name and email address. Also, iOS users can download The Round app from the Apple Store today. The app will be available to users in Austin, TX, Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY this summer.

While The Round is taking advantage of the rise in dating app usage among millennials, Casler’s vision remains the same, that more people enjoy dating with intention.

Looking for more Grit Daily coverage on other relationship-based startups? Check out why CMOs need to focus on live-event marketing in 2019.

Margo Gabriel is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She is a news reporter, photographer, event host, foodie, music lover, churro aficionado and all around life enthusiast that loves to capture simple moments in her travels. Margo sells her photography prints online and via her Instagram page. Margo lives in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from UMass Boston in 2009 with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. When Margo is not writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, live music, and hosting exciting events that bring communities together.

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