VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Invests in CarpeDM, Elevating the Dating Experience for Professional Black Women

Membership only dating service marries the convenience of an award-winning dating app with the personal touch of a dedicated human matchmaker

Richmond, Virginia, Dec. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virginia Venture Partners (formerly CIT GAP Funds), the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), today announced an investment in CarpeDM. Virginia-based CarpeDM is a membership only dating platform and matchmaking service dedicated to connecting professional Black women with other singles seeking meaningful relationships. This funding, through the Virginia Founders fund, will be used to fuel the company’s customer acquisition strategy.

Prior to CarpeDM, there was no service tailored specifically to the dating needs of professional Black women. CarpeDM was built specifically for this traditionally underserved community. Every professional Black woman granted membership is assigned a personal matchmaker, receives quality hand-picked and algorithm curated matches, and has direct access to her matchmaker through a convenient mobile app.

“Dating apps and their algorithms, a majority created by white men, do not prioritize the needs of Black women. This contributes to the low engagement Black women receive on these platforms and exacerbates our inability to find compatible partners. CarpeDM is designed with the professional Black woman in mind,” says Naza Shelley, CEO, CarpeDM. “CarpeDM is a community solely for professional Black women to find the meaningful relationships we deserve! We are grateful for the support of Virginia Venture Partners and look forward to expanding our community of relationship-minded singles ready to find the loving relationships they deserve. We are ready to help professional Black women move beyond ‘swipe culture’ and towards more authentic dating.”

 CarpeDM’s matching process features tech and human driven matches based on a proprietary algorithm and the industry expertise of trained matchmakers. Users set their match requirements and criteria — “must haves,” “likes,” and “deal breakers” — and provide deeper dating insights directly to their assigned matchmaker. CarpeDM curates highly compatible matches that meet a minimum match score and handpicks matches that reflect a member’s true relationship needs. CarpeDM is also one of the only dating apps on the market that conducts 100% background checks for all of its members. The company announced its groundbreaking partnership with background check company KarmaCheck in November. In addition to a background check, all CarpeDM membership levels include access to an exclusive and vetted community of high-quality singles and specially curated content and perks through their membership portal, including expert dating advice, community engagement, and exclusive discounts with CarpeDM partners. 

“CarpeDM’s patented app, combined with their proprietary matchmaking algorithm, provides users with a convenient and tailored experience that Virginia Venture Partners is confident will gain significant market traction," says Tom Weithman, VIPC Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of Virginia Venture Partners. "We look forward to following their growth and seeing the positive impact CarpeDM will have by creating a service specifically for professional Black women.”

About CarpeDM

CarpeDM, recently named DC’s 2021 Startup of the Year, is an exclusive, member-only dating community created for singles seeking meaningful relationships with professional Black women. CarpeDM has elevated the online dating experience by providing personal matchmaking services to a vetted community of high quality singles using our patented video-first dating app. They’re online dating with a very personal touch. For more information, please visit:

About Virginia Venture Partners

Virginia Venture Partners, formerly CIT GAP Funds, is the equity investment program of VIPC that makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, Virginia Venture Partners has deployed $32.4 million in capital across more than 250 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. Virginia Venture Partners’ investment decisions are guided by the Virginia Venture Partners Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit

About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)

VIPC connects innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia's innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

 Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Research Investment Fund (RIF) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) | Regional Innovation Fund | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit Follow VIPC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.


VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Invests in CarpeDM, Elevating the Dating Experience for Professional Black Women

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