“As a device, it has the ability to get out of your way and let you enjoy the real world, which is what we think Grouper is all about.” To make the dating experience more manageable, Grouper allows anyone to sign up, choose two friends who are up for a blind date, and pre-pay for a round of drinks at a local bar.
The service then matches your trio with another group of three — for now, three guys and three girls — using your application, Facebook info, algorithms and some human curation to match you with a cool date. On its web service, members have been able to tell the service when they want to go on a Grouper, and the startup will take care of everything else, including choosing the location, making the reservation and paying for the first round of drinks.
Groupers consist of two groups of three friends and can consist of three males and three females, six males, six females, or any other possible combination.
Similarly, the connections between squads will only last for 24 hours — so you’ve got a deadline to make plans and share contact info.
Liebman gave me a bit more detail about how the app works, like how there’s an internal chat within squads but also chats between different squads.
At a certain point, it started to seem like a lot of work just to connect with another random group of friends, but Liebman argued that it’s meant to be “analogous to how those dynamics play out in real life.” Think of the times you’ve been out with friends and started chatting up another group at the same bar.
Or when you’ve been with one group of friends and started texting someone to convince them to come over, and maybe bring their friends too.