On Valentine’s Day, with so many students separated by a co-op term, a group of Waterloo alumni has launched a promotional video for an app they created for long-distance sweethearts.

Couple, which was previously known as Pair, helps couples share everyday life even if they’re not in the same city. Couple lets two people chat by video or text, share photos, sketch together and even give each other a “Thumbkiss”.

'Couple' founders from University of WaterlooFront L to R: Oleg Kostour, Aswin Rajendiran
back L to R: Michael Petrov, Anton Krutiansky

Founders Oleg Kostour (BAS, 12), Anton Krutiansky (BASc, 11 ), Aswin Rajendiran (BASc, 09) and former students Michael Petrov and Jamie Murai started their company Tenthbit Inc. at Y Combinator – an accelerator program for startups in California.

“Because couples are communicating in private, they communicate differently,” says Kostour. “The whole world isn’t watching their posts to each other like on other social media platforms.”

The five alumni, one of the first VeloCity Venture Fund winners, met at the VeloCity Residence in Waterloo in 2011 and developed Maide – a multi-touch tablet application for 3D Computer Aided Design. “VeloCity has a proactive atmosphere,” says Kostour. “We learned to just go ahead, start and see if it works.”

Pair was born after the team moved to California and began experiencing the challenges of long-distance relationships. They decided to create an app that would put all modes of communication between a couple in one place.

Couple reports 800,000 downloads on iOS and Android and processes 1.25 million messages each day for a total of more than 160 million messages sent. Last week, Tenthbit acquired Cupple , an early innovator in the private sharing space and changed the app name from Pair to Couple.

While at Y Combinator, Tenthbit met several investors and landed $4.2 million in seed funding .

After returning to the VeloCity Garage for a time, they are now back in California capitalizing on access to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors.

“We want Couple to be an extension of a relationship,” says Krutiansky. “What you’d buy naturally in your relationship, like flowers, we want you to have the capability to buy in Couple through the push of a button.”