Thursday, April 12th, 2018 | 5 min read
One Friday night in Dublin, Ireland, Elva Carri wanted to go out dancing. Unfortunately, her friends were too busy or too tired to join her. While some would admit defeat and settle on the sofa, Carri’s next move was inspired.
Hoping that other women nearby would be facing a similar conundrum, Carri put a call out for platonic dancing buddies on Tinder. Over 100 enthusiastic matches later, Carri added everyone to a secret Facebook group. Within hours, members were organizing drinks.
GirlCrew was born.
Since those formative days in 2014, Elva Carri and her co-founders Áine Mulloy and Pamela Newenham have taken GirlCrew to dizzying heights. The platform currently has over 100,000 members in 46 cities worldwide, including London, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne. In summer 2017, the company launched its app, setting its sights on a global scale.
Here’s what you need to know about the emerging social platform.
Getting set up on GirlCrew is quite straightforward. Users can sign up, either by using their email address and basic personal details, or by logging in with Facebook.
Once logged in, members choose a ‘Home Crew’ based on where they live or work. Members can also follow international GirlCrew groups such as Careers, Dating Advice, Fashion & Beauty, and Travel. In the groups, members share advice and knowledge specific to each topic.
Once a GirlCrew member posts a status or comment, all GirlCrew members in that Home Crew can join the conversation. This fosters engagement and connection among members in the various locations.
In the Events section, members can check out upcoming events in the area. All events have an ‘open-door policy,’ meaning one does not need an invitation to the specific event. This further encourages connection among members of the community.
Alternatively, members can set up their own events, whether that’s Sunday brunch, an upcoming gig, or an exotic vacation.
As indicated by its name, GirlCrew is a women-only platform. The single exception is GirlCrew’s home of Dublin, Ireland, where a mixed gender group exists.
Though GirlCrew is set for expansion, co-CEO Pamela Newenham says that even if the platform has not launched in a person’s city, women can still get involved and, “chat to other women for support, advice, tips and more.”
The three co-founders have also previously tested a GirlCrew for men, called WingMen. And though demand was high, it didn’t work out, largely because men were hesitant to stray from their favored topics of conversation, an open mindedness which is core to GirlCrew.
Unlike many other social platforms, GirlCrew has introduced a subscription membership. GirlCrew Premium guarantees Dublin-based members access to four events each month organized by company leadership, rather than the events set up by community members.
Events have included luxury yacht trips and weekend getaways, and it seems likely that Premium will soon expand to other cities.
From humble beginnings, GirlCrew’s success to date has been impressive. Consider that in the company’s first year, its founders somehow used only $60, largely for social content creation.
Many members initially join because they have moved to a new city or they have grown distant from previous friends. “As a result,” says co-CEO Pamela Newenham, “they need new friends, but making friends as an adult can be hard.” The very nature of GirlCrew addresses this issue, introducing members to other women in their area. Importantly, initial online connection is fostered offline, creating long-lasting friendships and, in some cases, bridesmaids.
Ahead of further U.S. expansion, a recent seed funding round brought investment from, among others, LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner and Reddit’s director of data science Joe Gallagher.
The future looks bright for GirlCrew, a spontaneous company offering spontaneous adventures.
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