DNA dating app Pheramor has officially closed down after new Apple regulations meant it was kicked off of the App Store.
Founder Brittany Baretto raised more than $3 million through a mixture of VC and fundraising rounds since the product was first released in 2017. The app was growing steadily and acquiring approximately 250 new users every day.
However, the big setback came when an Apple policy update forbade dating apps from collecting DNA samples in an effort to protect people from bio-hackers. Baretto appealed the decision at every possible level before finally admitting defeat.
The only way Pheramor would be cleared was if it removed the DNA aspect, but that was what made it unique. 90% of Pheramor downloads came from Apple products meaning it was impossible to keep running just on Google Play.
At this point, Baretto launched WeHaveChemistry, a similar DNA test that measured the compatibility of already established couples, to try and pay back some of the initial investors.
She was also actively attempting to sell Pheramor, but although there was some interest people thought the technology was too complicated and wanted Baretto to stay on as part of the deal.
The final decision to shut down both companies was made in November.
Speaking to Innovation Map, Baretto said of the experience: “I was very personally involved with the brand. So when Pheramor was gone, it was like, ‘Who am I?'”
“As a female founder, I felt so much pressure to win. It felt like stakes were higher for me. I felt really nervous to let my insides show.”
She is now focused on starting her own venture fund to help other female, LGBTQ and ethnic minority founders launch products, especially ones dedicated to women’s health and wellness.
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