Semi-Managed Dating Service for Professionals

One company I've wanted to launch for a while is an affordable managed dating service for professionals.Β 

Basically, running your online dating apps + handling initial conversation + getting you going with best practices.

I had built something like this for internal use with my friends a 3 - 4 years ago, and always wanted to productize it.

Even without extensive automation, we could probably do it for only ~$50 - $100 a month and afford to spend $$$ on CAC.

Any thoughts?Β 

End benefit for user basically comes down to improving frequency and quality of dates with less time.Β 

Found the perfect kid for this, could hire him and get to a proof of concept really fast.

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Comments (26)

Feb 19, 2022 - 3:37pm
PrivateTechquity πŸš€GMEπŸš€, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What are the startup costs like?

Where would you launch?Β 

How have you thought about marketing/promotion?Β 

Array

Feb 19, 2022 - 3:41pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not too worried about the marketing side as I'm basically CRO for our portfolio. Very comfortable booting budgets up from $0 -> 7 figures a month.Β 

Same with dev side, have managed decent size spend before but I don't need much here to get moving and prove concept.

What I want from the WSO community is an idea of PMF! A lot of young single professionals here working 70 - 100 hours a week who I presume value their time highly and would pay for something like this.

Feb 19, 2022 - 3:45pm
bottombucketMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think I remember you writing about having a Chinese (?) assistant managing your Tinder account, I actually even bookmarked your post because it was smart and original.

My only fear with such service is that letting someone else manage the initial conversation is not the best if you're accustomed to sending witty one-liners and jokes in response to what the other person says - even a smart assistant would have to stick to some script to avoid wasting time, given the potential massive volume of conversations he would have to cover.

Would still definitely use though. In terms of marketing, you may want to advertise it as a luxury service for busy executives and only accept high level customers. You don't want your project to become "the platform to automate your dating apps".

Most Helpful
Feb 19, 2022 - 4:50pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Awesome, glad you found it helpful. So you don't think someone making ~$80k - $200k a year would find this helpful? Only executives?

Also RE: conversation, definitely a concern. Luckily you can find AMEX reps who went through accent neutralization in the Philippines for about ~$400 - $500 a month. My guess is some sort of bot + overseas labor could be a nice/potent combo. Could also have settings for conversation depth. IE maybe you want to take over after swipe + verification the match isn't a spammer.

Feb 19, 2022 - 6:37pm
bottombucketMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I do think you'd find potential customers in any segment of population that is both busy and has a lot of disposable income, I meant "executive" more in terms of brand image. This business idea is labor intensive, because if the number of customer increases, you'll have to increase the number of human assistants: economies of scale are fairly limited. That's why I think it's important at first to put some hard requirements: it's better to have as customer a 30/40 years old VP/MD looking to get a serious relationship/even get married, because he'll happily let someone run his Bumble/Hinge account for 1+ year and circle through dates, rather than having a ton of freshly-minted IB analysts who want to hook up and abandon the platform after 1 or 2 months if they don't get matches.

That brings us to a second point: what do you do if your customer simply has a shitty profile with bad pictures? It'd be bad publicity to make him pay a high subscription price and then basically do nothing because he gets no matches. That's why you'd need to vet your customers and make sure they have a competitive profile (nice pictures, bio, etc). You could even partner with some professional photographer. Again that's labor intensive, but I think that in order to ensure the best user experience you would need at first to require customers to be old enough (27/30 for instance), high enough income, etc. Look at Facebook: it started as a Harvard-only network, then opened up to other Ivy League universities, then to everyone.

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Feb 19, 2022 - 3:46pm
famejranc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Would imagine the other person would find it weird that someone else was the one initially messaging them? Would probably go against the terms of service of the dating apps, could they crack down on you? Just some things to think about but not a bad idea.

Feb 19, 2022 - 3:48pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah I had to use a VPN to get around this before and I'm sure it's breaking TOS. About 90% of people that knew thought it was funny but I was career-oriented woman who totally understood the need to free up time, plus it was just initial few texts not the whole thing.

Funniest
Feb 19, 2022 - 5:28pm
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:
m_1

I was career-oriented woman who totally understood the need to free up time

You're a woman?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 2
Feb 19, 2022 - 5:31pm
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm way too picky to trust someone else to make matches for me.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Feb 20, 2022 - 2:38pm
EatClenTrenHard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To me, the initial convo is one of the most telling signs for compatibility. You can tell a lot from the first few messages... and it's a good filtering mechanism. If someone just says hi or some shit, likely more shy and reserved. Hey and smirky face, they just want your dick. Some good banter in the initial exchange, now we might be looking at a keeper.Β 

  • 1
Feb 19, 2022 - 9:59pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also put me in the "would not use" camp. Guys, let's be real here, your dating life isn't something to be outsourced. If you're truly serious about matching with someone then invest the time it deserves. So I wouldn't want to be a part of this as a startup either because I would view my clients as scumbags.Β 

*
  • 1
Feb 19, 2022 - 10:29pm
eloquence, what's your opinion? Comment below:

$50-100 a month seems steep for what you're offering. Hinge is something you scroll through for fun on the toilet for entertainment and conversation. The initial match -> intro conversation is not hard, it's planning and going on enough first dates to meet someone worthwhile. Frequency of dates sure, but who wants to go on endless first dates - quality of dates I really don't think you can guarantee.

Women don't need to pay for this type of thing, fyi - they don't even have to swipe because they have tons of comments/likes already in their inbox. And I doubt being approached/talked to by a customer service guy in India is going to attract quality women, if you're approaching this from a long term partner perspective.

I thought this was going to be some sort of affordable "offline" matchmaker service which people would definitely pay for in NYC. Alternatively, profile reviews/revamps at like $50 a pop, although there's an entire reddit focused solely on that for free. But dating apps are low hanging fruit, your prices are too high for the casual user and the serious people will want to make their own fortunes

Array

  • 2
Feb 20, 2022 - 5:50pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Β As someone who is pretty experienced in this space, would caution against a service like this. Any woman finding out you use this (and only men would have a need for this) would automatically be DOA. You likely would have to face difficult PR battle too. And your userbase for this product will either be:

- people who need someone else to converse with women for them aka losers

or

- people who are genuinely too busy for this service, which is a very small pool of people in only a handful of markets (global A tier cities)

Good banter/wit is a skill in itself, and seems difficult that you could scale this profitably and make the cost reasonable. Outsourcing to india , china, or frankly - anyone who doesnt have a history of getting laid - just wont work. Even worse, you cant create or follow a script as women will catch on fast if a decent number of guys use this service.

IMO you are better off going hyper specialized and after big fish (the divorced lawyer, banker, executive) who are clueless with women and offering personal consultation. Cant scale but better margins. Or find a service that works for most people but is hyper scalable (a how to guide for dating apps potentially).

Think the idea is interesting, just see some pitfalls.Β 

Feb 20, 2022 - 6:49pm
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I feel like it sounds like a good idea on the surface, but who really is your target audience going to be?

You say it's successful and busy professionals who will pay extra to use your service. But I feel like these people tend to be smart and probably don't need help managing their profiles, no matter how busy they are.

Also, only the best looking men and women get so many matches they would be overwhelmed and need your service. All the uggos and chubbsters and average people probably don't get inundated with so many matches they need help.

Feb 22, 2022 - 2:26pm
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

HNW people can just pay a matchmaker to set up dates with real people outside of dating apps.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Feb 22, 2022 - 1:50am
FlyingDachshund, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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