IRL: This Social Calendar App Makes It Easier To Hang Out With Friends

By Annie Baker • Jun 21, 2019


  • IRL is a company that is aiming to bring people together in real life
  • Recently, IRL raised $11 million in funding

IRL is a company that aims to help bring people together for the purpose of healthier and happier relationships. Recently, IRL announced it raised $11 million in funding from Goodwater Capital, Founders Fund, and Kleiner Perkins.

IRL also announced that FLOODGATE’s founding partner and early Twitter investor Mike Maples, Jr was also IRL’s first venture investor and joined the company’s board of directors.

Some of IRL’s strategic investors also include Warner Bros. president Greg Silverman, Lionsgate Films president Joe Drake, and ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman, according to TechCrunch.

So far IRL has more than 2 million users, of which 1.3 million are active every month. And since launching, users have invited each other out to events like concerts, games, and other gatherings more than 200 million times. In most cases, IRL was used as a social calendar so the company used this insight and revamped its platform to what a social calendar should be.

The IRL – Social Calendar app allows users to easily share and sync calendars with friends. The app also imports local public events and the ability to follow local sports teams, musicians, celebrities, and local venues. And the IRL – Social Calendar app is exclusive to IOS as of right now.

“We created the IRL – Social Calendar because as amazing as technology is for connecting people, it’s been equally destructive and isolating. People have become so addicted to their phones and to social media that they forget how to live and connect in person, which leads to consequences that are just beginning to come to light,” said IRL CEO and co-founder Abraham Shafi in a statement. “We want to use technology to bring in-person experiences back in a way that makes it easy and comfortable for all.”

Consumers typically spend five hours on their phones every day and teenagers often spend more time than that. This could severely affect digital health. This is why IRL believes that its app can boost the self-confidence of its users and take away the social pressures associated with inviting friends to hang out in real life.

“Our goal is to get people to show up for and experience their lives to the fullest with the people they care about. To this end, we’ve recruited some of most influential pioneers in social media to help us develop the next phase of social– a better, more responsible version than what we’ve seen over the last decade,” added IRL co-founder and first investor Scott Banister. “The social calendar is a major step in our product evolution. IRL aims to ensure that all the elements you need for a fun live experience come together with ease.”

The IRL – Social Calendar app coordinates everything and eliminates the back-and-forth associated with planning in-person gatherings. Plus it also solves the problem of group messaging that automatically opts people into a thread that they do not want to be in. And IRL will become a seamlessly integrated social layer on top of current calendar services like Outlook and Google Calendar.

Prior to launching IRL Shafi dropped out of UC Berkeley to launch a startup called getTalent (acquired by Dice). While working in the tech industry, he was disappointed by  the negative impact that technology had on society. Fortunately, he gained some insights while attending Burning Man about the importance of real-life events.

So he partnered with Banister and Greg Tseng to launch Gather. However, Gather gained a bad reputation the persistent invitations to join the service. One year later, the platform was converted to IRL.

“IRL has tapped into the fundamental human need to spend time communicating with other humans– and doing so in person. Texts and social media interactions are not enough,” explained Goodwater Capital partner Chi-Hua Chien. “IRL – Social Calendar is a truly unique social platform that takes what a person likes and wants to do out in the world and connects it to friends with the focused intent of spending time together away from their computer or phone. We are excited to be a part of this mission and look forward to helping IRL execute on its ambitious plans and bold vision.”