Zyng, a startup taking on social planning, has announced that it has raised £197,000 in a pre-seed funding round, attracting support from major UK tech investors, including a VP at Snap.

Claire Valoti, VP International at Snap, and Amir Nooriala, chief strategy officer at Callsign, both have invested in Zyng, with Valoti also joining the company as a non-executive director.

Founded in 2019, Zyng is hoping to make waves in the social planning space, by providing a solution to the key pain point in organising social events: finding a date when everyone is free.

It does this through an app, which syncs with the user’s calendar to show when they are available. This is shared with friends in the app, enabling a would-be event planner to pick a date knowing all the attendees will be available, and add key details, including the nature of the event and the location.

Once the event is confirmed, it is then automatically synced into the attendees’ calendars.

“Everyone knows how difficult it is to try and find a date across multiple calendars, apps and shift patterns. Zyng allows you to instantly find when your group are all free, automatically, by sharing your ‘Availability’ with friends – effectively acting as an ‘automatic’ Doodle poll and avoiding the need to manually check when you’re all free,” explained Neil Tanna, co-founder of Zyng.

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“For example, if you want to organise brunch, you can search for the next time you’re all free on a Saturday between 11am – 1pm and Zyng will instantly show you the dates that work. The same works for a meeting or a week-long holiday.”

Startup Zyng takes on Facebook, WhatsApp in social planning space

The app sees Zyng take on some industry heavyweights in social planning, namely Facebook, with its event feature, and WhatsApp, which is often used to organise events through group chats.

However, the startup believes it has an edge on both offerings, because of its combination of immediacy, clarity of information and the fact that organisers know in advance that their attendees will be free.

Nevertheless, entering a space where industry giants dominate is always a challenging bid, and Zyng will need to gain significant adoption in order to make a dent in this space.

The involvement of Valoti will likely prove vital, but here the nature of the app may also prove a benefit.

Zyng requires all attendees of an event to use it, which may prove to be an initial barrier, but could work in its favour, as users are more likely to trust an app recommended to them by a friend.

If the startup can successfully attract entire friendship groups, which will in turn attract other groups with crossover members, it has the potential to see powerful growth.

Zyng intends to use its initial investment to grow its userbase, expand its marketing efforts and make strategic hires.

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