‘The Beginning of the Post-Tinder Era’: Women Tech Entrepreneurs Shake Up Online Dating | Online Dating
While online dating apps may have refined their technologies over the past few years, some of the more annoying features still exist. Whether it’s browsing endless profiles, leading nowhere chats, receiving explicit and unwanted photos, or mismatched matches, the experience can be frustrating for users looking for a relationship.
However, a number of female tech entrepreneurs have attempted to change this. In the wake of Whitney Wolfe Herd, whose Bumble app only allows women to initiate first contact (and who was valued at $ 13 billion – £ 10 billion – when she floated earlier this year) , others are trying to build more women. platforms. Clémentine Lalande, 37, launched Pickable in 2018 for women who want more discretion and didn’t like too much online exposure. Women don’t need to upload a photo or give their name, so they can browse men’s profiles anonymously.
In 2015, with a friend, Lalande also contributed to the creation of the “slow dating” Once application, which offers one match per day to each user. Last year, she added a feature that raises awareness about consent and unsolicited photos. The app, which has 10 million users, is also launching a matching algorithm based on a user’s “emotional profile”, created by a team of psychologists and dating experts.
“Both apps mark the start of the post-Tinder era, bringing care and empathy back to online relationships. Online dating is a market designed by men for men and is governed in a non-transparent manner, ”explains Lalande, based in Paris, CEO of the Once Dating group and an engineer by training. “I’m sick of a market that amplifies patriarchal stereotypes.
Other entrepreneurs are also trying to increase the chances of finding romance. For sisters Jessica and Louella Alderson, 31 and 27 respectively, the big problem that dating apps weren’t solving was the – fairly basic – issue of compatibility. They created So Syncd in January 2021 after raising more than $ 1million (£ 700,000) through a combination of venture capital, an investment club, angel investors and family.
The dating app and website claim to be the only ones that match couples based on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, administered since the 1940s, and popular among employers around the world for determining employee characteristics.
The idea was born around fraternal drinks in Soho, says Louella, a former chartered accountant. “We were talking about how our colleagues and friends were wasting so much time on bad dates. The reason was clear: Personality compatibility is key to any relationship, but dating apps always match people based on a few photos. It just didn’t make sense to us.
When someone signs up for So Syncd, they either take a five-minute personality test or enter their Myers-Briggs type on their own if they already know it. A match algorithm then calculates a compatibility percentage, based on the Myers-Briggs type combination, which is displayed on each profile so that users can see how likely they are to be successful.
“It’s rare for people of the same type to be in a relationship, but we match couples with just the right amount of similarities to understand each other and differences to create a spark,” says Jessica. “We chose the Myers-Briggs test because it is one of the most popular personality tests in the world and we had studied it ourselves before setting up the app.”
Louella says they have a lot of mechanisms around security. “For example, we verify the location of each user and manually verify each profile that signs up to the app.”
He has matched around 500 couples to date and recently celebrated his first marriage.
“Due to the lack of funds at the start, we learned basic coding of websites to reduce development costs,” says Jessica, former research analyst at Morgan Stanley. The sisters now manage the technical team among themselves – a CTO, three developers, including two women, and a project manager.
One of the first employees of the dating platform A lot of fish, Kim Kaplan switched to angel investing before creating a video dating app Nibble in September 2020. The app, whose engineering team is 43% female, aims to combine the matching algorithms of dating platforms like Tinder with streaming platforms like TikTok, where you can share details of your life in real time.
“A friend introduced me to TikTok in 2019 and it became apparent that people were trying to date there, but it wasn’t designed for that, so I thought, why not make a TikTok to hang out. together?” says Kaplan, based in Vancouver.
Snack is built in the same way as TikTok in that there is no swiping and it is primarily aimed at Gen Z, who feel “most comfortable sharing videos and images on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat ”. Users must be at least 18 years old and register with a phone number or Apple ID. “It’s much harder to forge them than an email address,” she says.
Another new dating app doing extra checks on those who sign up is Naked. Designed “for open-minded people”, it caters to a general population of straight, gay, bi, trans and poly, whether people are looking for a short-term fling or something more permanent. .
The USP of the app is its so-called “blur” technology, a photo cropping tool that scrambles the photos when they are first uploaded to the site and allows the user to gradually reveal as much or as much. bit of their correspondence as he wishes.
“We know that unsolicited dick pics are a problem for a lot of women dating online and we think we’ve found a way to stop it,” said co-founder Gillian Myhill, 41, former sports therapist turned entrepreneur, an Australian. living in London. “We also use AI technology to detect if users are real when they sign up. If our in-app technology is not secure, you will be contacted within 12 hours and asked to show your driver’s license or passport.
Initially confined to London, where it already has 12,000 people registered via the App Store and Google Play, the platform will be deployed in Manchester and Newcastle in the coming months, then in the rest of the country and in the United States.
Other female tech entrepreneurs are shaking up the online dating scene
Charlotte Spokes founded the Bonjoursolo in February, after quitting a job in finance four years ago to launch the My friend Charlie singles events site. An aggregator of online dating apps and singles events, Hellosolo users can only chat with someone they like after they attend an event, online or in person. “We’ve found that a lot of women want to go out and meet someone in a safe environment,” says Spokes.
Coffee meets bagel, which bills itself as “the original anti-swiping app”, was founded by Dawoon Kang and his sisters Arum and Soo in 2012. Another slow dating app, users get multiple matches at the same time every day.