Lex, a unique app inspired by vintage lesbian personals, has recently secured a significant funding round of $5.6 million in seed funding. As a part of this development, co-founder Jennifer Lewis has been promoted from her previous role as COO to CEO. Meanwhile, Kel Rakowski, the founding CEO, will be taking on the position of chief creative officer, and Michelle Parsons, the former Hinge product boss, will join as the chief product officer.
Lex, the queer social app, raises $5.6 million in seed funding and appoints Jennifer Lewis as the new CEO. The app’s recent redesign broadens its focus to be a comprehensive social platform for the LGBTQIA+ community. Lex’s monetization approach aims to meet the specific needs of its user base, deviating from traditional ad-based social models.
Despite being around for three years, Lex stands out from popular social networking apps like Reddit, Tinder, or Twitter. Currently ranking around #350 among iPhone social networking apps in the US charts, Lex’s influence is steadily growing as more people openly identify as LGBTQIA+. The app is particularly popular in major cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
The Broadening Scope of Lex
Lex is more than a dating app. It has evolved into a platform where queer individuals can find roommates, sell concert tickets, share their thoughts, and even express their intimate desires. The app’s text-only posts create a diverse mix that resembles a local LGBTQIA+ newspaper, Craigslist missed connections, a poetic subreddit, or even trans Twitter.
In February, Lex underwent a redesign that emphasized its focus on community. While this shift prompted some users to express their disappointment about the app’s reduced emphasis on dating and hookups, Jennifer Lewis believes that the redesign successfully delivered what the majority of users wanted — a social app catering to all aspects of queer life.
The Funding and Monetization Strategy
Lex’s recent funding round was led by Stellation Capital’s Peter Boyce, with participation from other firms and angels. The company plans to utilize the newly acquired funds to expand its reach. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that Lex’s growth strategy does not alienate its existing user base. Unlike other VC-backed businesses, Lex approaches monetization and growth with a focus on the nuanced needs of marginalized LGBTQIA+ communities.
Jennifer Lewis stated that Lex’s monetization plans will differ greatly from models employed by platforms like Meta (Facebook) or TikTok. An ad-based social model contradicts Lex’s principle of encouraging in-person meetups. As an alternative, the app is currently testing paid features, including charging users who want to post more frequently than the app’s standard limit.