HEY! WORLD: WE SWIPED RIGHT ON TINDER & WE’RE OPEN GLOBALLY

To all our amazing vinas,

Since launching the concept of the Hey! VINA app (only 8 months ago!) in January 2016, our platform for connecting women in a fun and safe way has been celebrated by millions of women around the world.

Without a doubt, this year has proven to be THE year for friendship. With 17,000+ global cities on our waitlist, large-scale media coverage in 25 countries, over 100,000 users in the first two weeks of our launch, and more than 5,000 requests for an Android version (we’re on it) – we’ve heard your demand loud and clear.

So here comes the major news: Hey! VINA is now available globally!

This wouldn’t have been possible without a few big champions of VINA’s ambitious and worthy dream to connect and empower women around the world. We’re excited to share who we’ve recently swiped right on – Tinder! They’ve joined us as an investor and partner to build the future of VINA.

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Beyond a shared mission to connect people around the world, Tinder is uniquely equipped to mentor our tiny startup team of four to become a leading tech platform at scale. Alongside the support of the top VCs in Silicon Valley (NEA, Greylock and Wildcat Venture Partners – to name a few), Tinder’s investment and mentorship have made it possible for us to grow our team, expand our technology, and launch our platform globally. #squadgoals

I would also like to celebrate our engineering team. These ladies tackled the challenge of going from several markets to 💯  in only a few months. Women can and will code a new world, vinas.

Finally, I’d like to thank you. You are the best friend we needed when the hustle was hard. You are the cheerleader who was always on our team and have empowered us time and time again to make this platform a reality.

It’s been a whirlwind of confetti, sleepless nights, dance breaks, hackathons, vina dates, and near daily press about VINA on almost every major publication. Together, we are creating a better world for women everywhere and at all stages of life. Fueled by community over competition, we are loving you and our partners for your help in building a bright future for VINA.  🎉

Cheers & hugs,
Olivia June

P.S. We also just released a MAJOR app update that includes a new quiz (!!) and the VINA Communities feature – you can now meet friends around shared interests. Download the latest update now.

P.P.S. Oh yeah! In case you are wondering… VINA and all of our products are still totally separate from Tinder. For more details, dive into our FAQ.

MEET OUR VINA: HEIDI

Who run the world? Vinas! In our own busy world at VINA HQ, we have a new addition to our team who will be running our editorial and community programs, working (and werking) hard to create content for all things VINA.

Let’s get to know our chihuahua-loving queen of writing, Heidi:

Describe your idea of the perfect VINA date.                                                                

That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket. Miss Congeniality, anyone? Honestly, the perfect VINA date is one with a great view, a quiet space to talk and amazing company. I’m a big fan of museums, especially contemporary art. You can always follow up with another date and DIY modern art pieces of your own.

Which 5 emojis describe you best?

🍞🍞🍞🔑😂 (The key to life is carbs and a good sense of humor.)

Guilty pleasures?

Buying Pinterest-worthy plants and forgetting to water them. I’m not the most attentive plant mom, and succulents are more colicky than you think.

Favorite thing about yourself?

I am a champion of women everywhere. I was raised by strong women, and I believe in investing in female leadership. Oh, and I have great brows.

What excites you most about what we’re doing at VINA?

Hey! VINA is an app built by women for women to connect with other women. We know that making these relationships are so important, and we want to celebrate female friendships through technology. Can you imagine a world where you can access sisterhood with a swipe and a click? We can! We’re helping create that world at VINA HQ.

Can’t get enough of Team VINA? Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter for more VINA love and laughs.

HAPPY 6 MONTH VINAVERSARY HEY! VINA APP

6 MONTHS UPDATE

We were so busy working away making Hey! VINA better and better that we almost went through the day without realizing it was our 6 month App Store VINAversary! And we couldn’t let this amazing milestone slip by without a few #ladybrags and updates (and champagne, obvi).

While we’re in disbelief that it’s been 6 months, we’re proud of how far we’ve come, but we’re even more excited about what’s in store!

This is also going to be a great week for Hey! VINA updates — we’re finally releasing customizable profile photos! AND we’re inviting Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Richmond, Tucson, St. Louis, Baltimore, Columbus, and Las Vegas off the waitlist! Read the full list of active cities here, and if you’re not in an active area yet, read the ✌️VINAzine in the app for daily bits of inspiration, fun, and friendship tips!

Thanks for being part of our journey, and spreading the mission of community over competition and sisterhood above all else.

💕 Olivia & Jen
VINA Co-Founders

YOUR FIRST HEY! VINA DATE: BOSTON

Boston is a city full of cool, diverse women – and there really is something for everyone.  Whether you’re a history buff, an art geek, a RedSox die-hard, or a major foodie, it’s not hard to find something up your alley.  But juuuussstttt in case you’re drawing a blank when trying to think of something for your first vina date, we’ve compiled a list of some must-have spots to get to know your new Boston bestie.

Impress Artsy Vinas @ the Institute of Contemporary Art

We all love the MFA and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but if you’re looking for a culture fix that’s a little different, try the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Seaport district. It’s only one floor of art, which is perfect for your first vina-date. After checking out the current exhibits, make sure to check out the ah-mazing museum shop (the best-smelling candle I’ve ever purchased came from the ICA gift shop😻) and the café, which boasts an impressive mezze plate and delish coffee. Also, the ICA hosts tons of events throughout the year including dance parties, yoga classes, and popular chef demonstrations that would all be super fun to do with your vinas!

Nifty and Thrifty @ the Oliver Best Market

Let’s admit it – we ALL have a shopping problem. And what better people to enable us than our new vinas? Make a date to go to the Oliver Best Market in Allston. You’ll find tons of vintage goods and art from local vendors. After talking and checking out the goods for a little bit, try this exercise: give yourselves a budget of $10-$20 and 15 minutes to find something to buy for each other! Each of you will end up with something great at the end, plus you both may realize you already know each other better than you thought.

Get Your Grub On @ the Boston Public Market

If you haven’t checked out the new Boston Public Market, you’re in for a treat. It’s basically a foodie’s heaven, complete with a craft beer stand, vegan donuts, and the best hot chocolate you will ever have (trust me). Not to mention the countless farm-fresh cheese, meat, and produce vendors. It’s the perfect first vina date because it gives you plenty of time to talk and get to know each other as you roam the stands and figure out what to eat. May I suggest…everything?

Selfie Queens on the Esplanade

This time of year, the Esplanade is the nicest place to spend some time outdoors, especially because it’s about 100% less touristy than the Commons. During the Summer, the college kids are gone and the locals come out to play. There are endless possibilities for things to do down by the Charles: pack a picnic, go for a bike ride, take a swim á la BU’s Dean Elmore*, or take selfies on one of the docks – it’s sure to be a good time!

*not actually recommended – brrrr! 💦❄️💦❄️💦❄️

 

What are you fave hangouts in Boston? Let us know in the comments below!

(Feature image by @ggabriella)

HEY FUNDING! ANNOUNCING VINA’S SEED ROUND

I couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news that we’ve secured our first round of funding at VINA. What this means for you lovely vinas is that we now have resources to make the Hey! VINA app so much better for you. What this also means is that we, an all woman team, are also feeling a #ladybrag coming on as women founders account for about 15% of all Series Seed startup investments. And I know that % drops dramatically when you look at 100% female founding teams. Our round was comprised of 50% women investors, including the amazing partners Sarah Tavel of Greylock and Katherine Barr of Wildcat Ventures which we think is also pretty fabulous.

Read the official announcement on Fast Company.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

Stay tuned for more exciting things to come. 🙂

Cheers to one small step for women, one giant leap for VINA. #LADYBRAG

xoxo Olivia

 

MEET OUR VINAS: EMMA

Lots of exciting things happening at VINA lately! (Check out our latest BIG, BIG news here!)

Included in all the exciting happenings is the latest addition to the VINA team – Emma. Emma is our content producer and illustrator extraordinaire who’s going to create all kinds of beautiful, fun, inspiring content. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and subscribe to VINAzine to make sure you see all her work!

Check out the Q&A below to learn more about our new lovely lady!

What’s been the best friend date you’ve been on?
Definitely the Euro-trip I went on with my good friend Gabi junior year. We visited so many amazing European cities after our semester abroad in London and we felt super empowered that we planned the whole thing ourselves and traveled alone! The best city was Berlin – SO much fashion inspo and amazing art.

What are some of your favorite things to do with your vinas?
I love going to shows and museums the most, but I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or going to the beach. I am also always down to jam with someone else who plays an instrument!  I want to start performing my music in public as EM-LUNA and I hope playing with some vinas is just what I need to build up my confidence. I just moved back to SF after four years in Boston, so I’m really excited to re-discover the city with old and new vinas!

What excites you the most about joining the VINA team?
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated, strong women who have created this safe space to network with other lovely vinas. I’m really looking forward to creating engaging and fun content for VINA and our users and I can’t wait to help spread the VINA message of empowering, connecting, and celebrating women!

Which 5 emojis are in your Hey!VINA profile?
🙃😓🎨🎸🌙 (It was so hard to pick just five!!)

Guilty pleasures?
I tend to say I don’t believe in the concept of a guilty pleasure (I just think everyone should like what they like without judgement or shame) but I will say my friends lovingly scold me for religiously watching brain-rotting reality TV…but I will not stop!

Favorite thing about yourself?
That I can feel proud of the art I create.

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You can connect with Emma on Instagram, and feel free to leave her a comment below to welcome her to the VINA fam!

NOW MATCHING VINAS IN 400+ NEW CITIES!

Oh – em – geeee!! We are so excited to announce that we are massively expanding throughout the US and Canada today! We’ve officially been live in the App Store for 4 months, and wow, let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride and absolutely amazing to get the support of women around the world behind us to make this global community of women possible! We, a little team of 3, couldn’t have done it all without YOU!

We have some exciting things (product features, partner announcements, and more!) coming up in the near future, but let’s cut to the chase — where are we opening today?!

Well, here’s North America…

GLOBALLY WE’RE CURRENTLY LIVE:

NORTH AMERICA

  1. ATLANTA – and surrounding cities!
  2. AUSTIN – and surrounding cities!
  3. BOSTON – and surrounding cities!
  4. CALGARY, CANADA
  5. CHARLOTTE – and surrounding cities!
  6. CHICAGO – and surrounding cities!
  7. DALLAS – and surrounding cities!
  8. DENVER – and surrounding cities!
  9. EDMONTON, CANADA
  10. HOUSTON – and surrounding cities!
  11. LOS ANGELES COUNTY
  12. MIAMI – and surrounding cities!
  13. MINNEAPOLIS – and surrounding cities!
  14. NASHVILLE – and surrounding cities!
  15. NEW YORK CITY – and surrounding cities!
  16. ORLANDO – and surrounding cities!
  17. OTTAWA, CANADA
  18. PHILADELPHIA – and surrounding cities!
  19. PHOENIX – and surrounding cities!
  20. PORTLAND – and surrounding cities!
  21. SAN ANTONIO – and surrounding cities!
  22. SAN DIEGO – and surrounding cities!
  23. SAN FRANCISCO – and surrounding cities!
  24. SEATTLE – and surrounding cities!
  25. TAMPA, FLORIDA
  26. TORONTO, CANADA
  27. VANCOUVER, CANADA – and surrounding cities!
  28. WASHINGTON DC – and surrounding cities!

AUSTRALIA

  1. SYDNEY
  2. BRISBANE
  3. MELBOURNE

EUROPE

  1. LONDON

That’s a total of 33 total metropolitan areas and a grand total of 425 individual cities around the world!

So now the next question is, “Where are we heading next?”

Well, that’s up to you all! We’re constantly keeping an eye on the most popular cities, so tell all the women you know so we get to you sooner than later! Here’s a little teaser: we see a whole slew of US cities championing for the next round, and internationally, Paris, São Paulo, Oslo… but who knows!?

So get tweeting, facebooking, texting, snapchatting, slacking, whatsapping, instagramming, and good ol’ fashioned emailing — it’s time to get on Hey! VINA.

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6 REASONS WE’RE OBSESSED WITH AUSTRALIA

Hey! VINA is coming for you, Australia!! We couldn’t be more thrilled to be opening up Hey! VINA to three cities in the glorious land of Australia. So, get ready, we’re ready to start introducing you to new friends in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Not to make other countries feel jealous, but we thought it’d be nice to commemorate this day with a list of some of our top reasons we love Australia… and maybe it could inspire some fun vina travels and meet local vinas on the app!

IT’S SUPER NORMAL TO TAKE A GAP YEAR

There are not many topics where the argument of “everybody’s doing it” will entice us, but when it comes to the popularity of the gap year, we’re ALL IN. Travel, explore, and find yourself. We’re also supportive of intermittent gap years, sabbaticals, and other excuses to take a break and explore the globe throughout life.

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THE ICEBERG POOL AT BONDI BEACH

Is it a tourist destination? Sure. But is it also arguably the most amazing swimming pool in the entire world? YES. Plus, you’re guaranteed a ton of Instagram likes for your pix.

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THEY KNOW THEIR COFFEE

In Melbourne, cafe crawls are a thing. We love that. I mean, what better way to get to know a new vina than getting hopped up on caffeine and exploring the city’s best cafes together?

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THERE ARE MORE KANGAROOS THAN HUMANS

We love humans. I mean we are humans. We help humans make friends with other humans… but if we had the option to make an app to connect us with our kangaroo best friends, we’d probably do it.

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SUNSETS LIKE WOAH

There’s an amazing sunset pretty much every single day in Australia. Which leaves us always wondering– Why can’t our iphone ever capture photos of sunsets like this?!

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via imgur.com

 

VINA CO-FOUNDER JEN LIVED THERE

Jen studied at University of Melbourne and dreams of the opportunity to move back!

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So there you have it! By all means, this is not a comprehensive list. In fact, it only scratches the surface. Share what you love about Australia in the comments, and start meeting some new vinas in the area!

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