Mobile start-up Split has announced it has raised a $1 million seed investment from multiple private investors for its antisocial app on iOS and Android devices. Instead of connecting users to friends, the Split app allows users to specifically avoid certain people and interactions.
The Split app gathers a user’s contact and social information, including content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare. Users then mark others as “avoidees,” with the app alerting the user when they’re in the same area as those people they wish to avoid. When someone is “spotted” by the app, Split offers an escape route to avoid an unwanted or awkward encounter with the person.
“Just imagine a world that no matter where you go, you only run in to people you want to meet,” said Udi Dagan, CEO and Founder of Split. “The idea for Split was born on a frustrating night, about two years ago, when I ran into my ex-girlfriend in a bar. After a few awkward minutes, I hurriedly gathered my friends out of there and into another pub down the street, where I literally bumped into another ex… Not a good night.”
The Split app scans not only nearly locations, but also distant locations and a user’s favorite hangouts. The app marks some locations as “danger zones,” if an avoidee is frequently found there, and will also alert users when an avoidee is planning to attend the same event in the future.
To balance things out, the app allows Split users to turn off their detection settings for up to 90 minutes. The company plans to launch new features over the next year to provide more antisocial tools for users.
“During the process of designing the Split app, it was really interesting to see how people reacted to the idea of an app that’s primarily targeted at avoiding other people,” added Dagan.
“At first, most would twist up their face and start laughing. But then, when I gave examples of different situations where it could come in handy (my favorite is still ‘imagine running into your parents on a first date’), all of a sudden a light bulb went on and a revelation was noted – ’Oh, I see… That’s actually pretty useful!’”