Atlanta Dating startup Hatched Looks To Crack Open New Markets With Southeast Expansion

Atlanta’s personality-based dating platform Hatched is in expansion mode. 

The startup, which launched last November to connect singles across the Metro area, is moving into Charlotte, North Carolina. Opening other Southeastern cities, like Nashville and Birmingham, is also on the horizon, says co-founder  Mitch Alterman

Branching out from Atlanta is strategic for the app. Alterman said that while most dating apps head to New York, LA, or Miami, the Hatched team wants to serve cities “traditionally underserved” by the dating app industry. 

The expansion decision comes after Hatched gained a strong following in its home base. Alterman said Hatched has attracted more than 15,000 total users across Atlanta in less than a year. The team has also grown recently, with Reeves Kissel being promoted to the startup’s third co-founder. He now works alongside co-founders Alterman and  Sam Lukens. But Alterman said the team has remained intentionally lean so that they can invest in “our communities and marketing channels.”    

More of a dating game than a dating app, Hatched is designed to limit endless swiping and half-baked conversations that never actually lead to a date. Unlike traditional image-centric dating apps, a potential date’s photo is only revealed by answering four personality-driven questions. That allows two people to get to know each other on a more personal level through a more gamified and fun platform.

The team has spent the last ten months improving the overall UX and listening to user feedback, which Alterman said helped the team roll out new features that rewarded users for answering more questions. 


Lessons In B2C Marketing 

To grow around Atlanta, the Hatched team threw a series of singles parties at hot spots like the popular bar Ladybird and Fetch, a dog-friendly social pub. Alterman credits those in-person events as crucial to helping the team gain credibility. 

They also invested in a fun egg costume that has been spotted along the BeltLine and around Buckhead. He said that a lot of the grassroots campaigning helped the team gain traction early on and get name ID across Atlanta. As the team moves into other Southeastern cities, Alterman said there will be a stronger focus on digital advertising and influencer marketing. 

Alterman also said that the team has relied heavily on product-led growth and building out a strong referral network from within the app’s user base.

“Consumer marketing is a beast in its own right. But dating is such a sensitive and emotional field, so we really wanted to just focus on providing value-add resources for our users,” he added.

Of course, there is one big metric that is important to any dating app: How many marriages resulted from users meeting on the platform.  

While Alterman said he doesn’t know of any Hatched marriages to date, he believes some are on the horizon. 

“I got an email from a user the other day and it was really the most gratifying thing ever. She said thank you for creating this. I met someone who I truly believe is going to be my partner for life and I think we’re going to go engagement ring shopping now,” he added. “But it was a really, really cool anecdote to hear and we’re excited for that first engagement….We’re hoping next year our inbox will be getting flooded with those types of stories.”