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Founded Year



Seed VC | Alive

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Last Raised

$3.6M | 2 yrs ago

About Paired

Paired offers a mobile application for couples to improve their relationship. The application combines audio tips from experts with fun daily quizzes and questions that partners answers together.

Headquarters Location

London, England,

United Kingdom

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Paired Patents

Paired has filed 1 patent.

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Photovoltaics, Solar cells, Computer memory, Applications of photovoltaics, Energy conversion


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Latest Paired News

Nudge, nudge: could a couples’ app revive your relationship?

Apr 8, 2022

Now it’s all about relationship maintenance. But can texts, prompts and emojis really bring you and your partner closer? Fri 8 Apr 2022 06.00 EDT A few weeks ago, while scrolling Instagram and passing silent judgement on a stranger’s interior decoration choices, I was served an ad for Paired. The app promised “10 minutes a day to a better relationship” via quizzes designed by therapists and academics to spark more meaningful conversations. Had Alexa been eavesdropping on that row we had about the recycling? Either way, an algorithm had staged an intervention. At no other point in our history have we scrutinised our relationships so closely. Two years of semi-confinement in homes that doubled as co-working spaces or classrooms will do that. Across the cultural spectrum, via the BBC’s fly-on-the wall Couples Therapy , or Gwyneth and her wolverine claw in Netflix’s Sex, Love & Goop , we are hooked on psychoanalysing other people’s relationships. What Paired, Relish, Coupleness, Love Nudge (if you can look beyond the name) and a growing number of other couples’ apps are doing is turning that fascination inward. It’s relationship maintenance for the time-poor, self-care curious – and business is booming. “There has been a recalibration of priorities in terms of what we value, and that includes relationships,” says Jacqui Gabb of Paired, who is also professor of sociology and intimacy at the Open University. For all the predictions of a divorce boom, experts agree it’s too soon to tell. “Lots of media are reporting a huge spike in divorce,” she says, “but from the research I’ve seen, there hasn’t been one. Poor relationships have got worse, but good ones have got stronger.” What is clear is that we’re more prepared to “do the work”. A Tavistock Relationships YouGov poll in July 2021 found that 66% of people in relationships said they valued their partner more after navigating the pandemic together. Even for those who struggled – 18-24-year-olds were almost twice as likely (46%) than average to experience conflict with their partner during the pandemic – there was an awakening around relationship care, with Tavistock therapists reporting a rise in millennial and gen Z couples attending counselling for maintenance rather than crisis. “Unlike previous generations who ‘made their bed and lay in it’, couples are now saying, ‘Let’s make this healthy and as good as it can be’,” says Marian O’Connor, counsellor and psychosexual therapist at Tavistock Relationships . “The lockdowns gave us this proximity to our partners unlike anything before; it made people prepared to work on relationships. I also saw more couples prepared to work on splitting up more healthily.” For many, this is part of a wider self-care ethos that saw meditation app usage surge during the first lockdown. Headspace confirmed that UK downloads increased by 28% between March 2020 and March 2021, and downloads of Calm have doubled to more than a billion listens since the start of the pandemic. “Relationship care was the obvious next step,” agrees Gabb. “We have sex and relationships education as part of the school curriculum but then it falls off a cliff. We all think we know what makes a good relationship – based on what we see in parents, friends and the media – but people are starting to realise that you have to put the work in, every day.” But why look for problems, I ask O’Connor, if everything’s fine? “It’s an interesting point, and could lead people towards thinking there’s a problem when there isn’t,” she agrees. But although she wouldn’t recommend the apps to clients as an alternative to therapy, she says they could be useful for proactively avoiding it. “Look at them as ways to test compatibility, especially for new couples, or as a form of self-improvement, like yoga or running.” My husband Ron and I have fared comparatively well. Together for 10 years, married for five and with three children, we’ve landed in 2022 somewhere between our friends, who had something of a sexual epiphany (shagging between WFH Zoom meetings, apparently), and the couple who decided to part after 15 years and a building up a hefty therapy bill. I have oscillated wildly between clinging to him as though my very life depends on him (which in many ways it does, emotionally at least), to inventing increasingly implausible reasons to socially distance from him, if only to muffle the incessant sound of him crunching though packets of crisps. We’ve weathered grief, sickness, childbirth and dangerous levels of sleep deprivation, and there’s still nobody else I’d rather probe nasal cavities alongside. But after two soul-grinding pandemic years, is it time to take care of us? The app delivers results in emoji: when we get a matching sad face, it instructs us to talk We decide to give an app a try. I can’t deny I’m cynical – do I really require a push notification to tell my husband that the colour of his T-shirt brings out his eyes? But I am intrigued by the premise of Paired, which was co-founded by former management consultant Kevin Shanahan, who previously worked on memory training and language-learning apps. It has grown from 1,000 monthly active users, pre-pandemic, to more than 500,000. I download the app at £49.99 for premium access (it has a free seven-day trial) and try not to think about the half-decent pub lunch we could have had for that. Ron, not naturally inclined to self-examination, is less convinced. I spend the next two days telling him to “Pair” with me before grabbing his phone and installing the app myself, which speaks volumes about our communication style. “You have to answer some questions about me online,” I say. “Can’t I just tell you to your face?” he responds, missing my point but making a valid one himself. Each morning at 7am, Paired pings us a question. Day one: “How do you and your partner interact when you first wake up?” Paired tells me that research found couples who say “Good morning” to one another every day rate their satisfaction levels higher than those who don’t. I fire off something about whoever hears the baby first drags themselves out of bed, and wonder if my satisfaction levels would be higher without the 7am alarm call. Composite: Getty/Guardian Design We spend the next week batting answers to one another. Day three: “What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received?” The app tells me that surprises, according to “surprisologist” (me neither) Tania Luna, provide the perfect combination of stability and novelty we crave in a relationship. My answer was a Californian road trip that Ron only told me about when we arrived at the airport. His was the positive pregnancy test I presented when we were expecting baby no 3. I suspect he’s confusing “surprise” with “shock”, but maybe both answers represent the craving for novelty (me) and the need for stability (him) that make us tick as a couple. I learn the worst way to resolve an argument (over text) and that Ron thinks I am a medium-happy-face good listener (the app delivers results in emoji), whereas for me it’s a straight-mouthed neutral. He also thinks I’d be happiest on a beach with a cocktail, whereas I answer on a snowboard in the mountains. In fairness, I’d take either right now. On a more reassuring note, we’re aligned on the big stuff, like parenting, money and whether we would rather be a dog or a cat. In addition to the daily questions, Paired serves up twice-weekly quizzes designed to prompt meaningful offline conversations. Topics range from communication style and handling conflict to preparing for tough times, with the odd “would you rather?” thrown in for a joke (for example: would you rather give up coffee or social media?). The results help identify challenges and prompt you into discussion. Enticingly, you don’t get to see your partner’s answers to the same questions until you have completed the quiz yourself. Our first red flag is during an “active listening quiz”, when we are asked how strongly we agree with the statement: “I let my partner speak without interruption.” The result is a matching sad face, so the app instructs us to discuss. I hold my hands up, aware that interrupting is the trait I most deplore in myself. It turns out Ron feels the same about his own argument style. Next time we’re in disagreement (over where to put a cupboard), I take a breath before putting my case across, and notice he does the same. For all its gimmicks, Paired is steeped in science. For every question posed, you’re given a research-backed reason why it’s relevant. “What’s the question that strangers ask you the most?”, for example, is a way to share your “inner world” (hopes and dreams) with your partner, which, according to the app and renowned US psychologist Dr John Gottman, helps couples connect during stressful times instead of becoming strangers. My answer was: “Nice coat. Where from?” Ron’s was: “Which way to the train station?” I’m not sure this reveals much more than that he’s a reliable-looking guy and I have impeccable taste in outerwear. The app is backed by an impressive lineup of therapists, clinical psychologists and academics, led by Gabb, who also authored the Open University’s much-cited Enduring Love study , delving into how long-term relationships are sustained. The findings placed non-heterosexual, unmarried couples without children as the most satisfied with their relationship quality, while married, heterosexual parents languish somewhere near the bottom of the contentment ladder. Relatable, I think, as I chisel a two-day-old Cheerio off the kitchen floor with a butter knife. Composite: Getty/Guardian Design The more heartening aspect of Gabb’s study is that it isn’t big gestures but small, daily wins that can sustain a partnership – saying “thank you” or “I love you”, sharing the household chores and, top of the list, making your other half a cup of tea. And this is the foundation on which Paired sits, and informs the app’s questions. It works, in some ways. Had we not been forced to cast our minds back to distant, pre-pandemic adventures (via the “Describe a perfect evening together” prompt), we might not have found ourselves laughing on the sofa about an unrepeatable incident from our first date. We would have been watching Netflix instead. “It didn’t teach me anything new,” was Ron’s verdict by the end of the trial. “But it did reaffirm how lucky we are, and that we really need a holiday. Plus I could do it all with one eye on Peaky Blinders.” After two weeks of doing Paired, the daily questions lost their novelty and I disabled the 7am notifications, but I had secretly enjoyed cornering Ron into revealing nuggets of his inner world. On his biggest fear, I already knew his answer (something awful happening to me or the children), but did it sting when he answered that he prefers to deal with his fears “alone”? A little. Perhaps the most revelatory thing was the “Looking back on 2021” quiz. It didn’t tell us anything new, but it did spark a conversation that made us reflect on a year of cancelled dates, hijacked calendars and work/childcare schedules thrashed out through gritted teeth. We’ve always been good at talking about the Big Things, but it’s a timely reminder to sweat the small stuff, too – a cup of tea, knowing your favourite snack, a silent hug when you need it most and, sure, a heated debate over “would you rather” travel by helicopter or hot-air balloon. A few days later, a text pings in from my husband: “Leaving now. I’ll get cheese.” I think we’ll be fine. THREE COUPLES PUT A DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIP CARE APP TO THE TEST ‘It beats doomscrolling social media’ The app Relish (£94.99 for six months, free seven-day trial) The deal Relationship coaching to build better connection, communication and intimacy in five minutes a day, via daily quizzes and prompts. The couple Tineka, 35, and Alex, 33, have been married for seven years, together for 10, and have a two-month-old son. Tineka says We got into the quizzes, with questions like: “If you could have a million of something, excluding money, what would it be?”. They take two minutes and it’s kind of exciting waiting for your partner’s responses. It turns out Alex thinks I’m a better listener than I think I am. I also learned to appreciate his pauses – he’s thinking, not zoning out. The app reaffirmed that we’re aligned on parenting and our future, which we talk about a lot anyway (we wrote a book together about being in an interracial relationship). The text-heavy lessons, such as one on active listening, were too time-consuming but we will use the date-night-at-home suggestions, like taco night and recreating a hotel stay in the bedroom. That would have been handy in lockdown! Alex says I had no idea Tineka wanted to go to Barbados; it’s never come up before. I liked being asked daily how I feel about Tineka – it takes two seconds to answer with an emoji, which beats our usual transactional conversations about the baby. Last year forced us to have some challenging conversations about race and about parenting, and I learned so much from Tineka. I didn’t need an app for that, but it reminded me to keep investing in the most important relationship I have, instead of doomscrolling social media. *** ‘I discovered she thinks I’m “handy”, so that’s nice’ The app Coupleness (£31.99 a year or £11.99 a month, with a number of free functions) The deal A digital micro-journal for couples to log, share and track their feelings in three minutes a day, using emojis and gifs. The couple Laura, 39, and Julie, 40, have been together for 14 years. They have two children. Laura says It’s a cute, quick way to show love and reflect on how you’re feeling by asking you to rate your day from one to 10 in emoji faces. Jules didn’t always receive my love back because she turned off her notifications. The app is quite naggy; you get multiple notifications a day. I misunderstood a question about listing three great qualities about your partner and listed loads, but Jules only received the last three, pretty unromantic ones – calm, talkative and social. Turns out she thinks I’m “handy”, of all things, so that’s nice. It was a good conversation starter. One day the app told me she’d had a bad day at work (I got sent a sad face) so we talked about it that night and came up with an action plan that we might not have otherwise. Julie says Laura can do anything – cooking, DIY – so in response to being asked her three best qualities, I said that she was handy, which may not have gone down well. You have to be careful because options for answers are very black and white (happy or sad) with little room for context, so if you log that your partner gave you a sad face one day, you need to follow it up with a face-to-face explainer to avoid misinterpretation or a tiff, which I guess is the whole point of the app. It’s useful for giving each other a heads-up about a rubbish day before you get home. I think we’ll use it more when we go back to the office and see less of each other. *** ‘The videos were childish – I felt like I was watching CBeebies’

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Paired Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Paired founded?

    Paired was founded in 2019.

  • Where is Paired's headquarters?

    Paired's headquarters is located at London.

  • What is Paired's latest funding round?

    Paired's latest funding round is Seed VC.

  • How much did Paired raise?

    Paired raised a total of $4.6M.

  • Who are the investors of Paired?

    Investors of Paired include Taavet Hinirikus, Harold Primat, Eka Ventures, Ed Cooke and Bernhard Niesner.

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