Wednesday, July 12, 2006

RED HERRING | Engage Attracts $5 Million

", a next-generation dating site, said Tuesday it has raised a $5-million first round of funding.

The round, led by Advanced Technology Ventures, included seed investors Revolution Ventures, The Founders Fund, and Josh Kopelman, and brought Engage’s total funding to about $6 million.

Engage hopes to spark slowing growth in the online dating sector by adding a twist to the personals formula. The idea is to “bring social networking into dating, more closely mimicking how the world actually works,� said Steve Baloff, a general partner at ATV who has joined Engage’s board.

Social networking sites such as MySpace do serve as dating services for many users, but San Francisco-based Engage, which soft-launched last summer, is a bit more explicit. The company facilitates personal introductions to start relationships. "

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