US: Members-only home swapping network Kindred has announced the acquihire of intentional dating app Mango and its founder, Bryan Li, who joins the company as chief technology officer [CTO].
The acquisition of Mango, which was founded in 2021 and builds AI-powered matchmaking to efficiently and effectively connect users, is poised to expand Kindred’s matchmaking capabilities for home swaps with the app’s proprietary technology and Li’s tech expertise.
Li brings a wealth of experience in building and scaling products, most notably as director of engineering at LinkedIn, where he optimised the job search functionality, and Tinder, where he focused on the matchmaking and social discovery experience with algorithmic matching, in addition to software engineering roles at Yahoo, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.
Prior to developing Mango, Li also co-founded Medmonk, a technology platform that provides financial assistance to patients undergoing medical treatment.
In his new role as CTO at Kindred, Li will oversee the development of Kindred’s technology platform and lead the engineering team as the company continues to expand its offerings and reach.
Justine Palefsky, co-founder and CEO of Kindred, said: “We’re delighted that Bryan has joined the team as CTO. His extensive experience in engineering and product development, combined with his passion for Kindred’s mission, make him the perfect person to lead our technology development.
“We are confident he will play a key role in continuing to drive innovation and expansion at Kindred,” she added.
Li said: “I couldn’t be more excited to join Kindred and be a part of such a mission-driven company. Home swapping harnesses the power of human connection to make travel more accessible.
“I look forward to working with the team to realise this worthy vision,” he added.
By strengthening its leadership team, Kindred is positioning itself for continued growth as a leading home-swapping network.
The acquisition and hiring of Li come at a crucial point for Kindred, which has rapidly expanded and has surpassed 2,000 member nights booked after coming out of stealth in April 2022.
Last year, the startup raised $7.75 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz [a16z] and, according to details disclosed on Crunchbase, Kindred also secured just shy of $15 million in venture round funding at the end of December.
Through its ‘give-to-get’ home-sharing model, Kindred seeks to empower members to live a more ‘travel-rich’ lifestyle for a fraction of the cost of booking a vacation rental or hotel.