The Startups Taking Online Dating To The Next Level

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Disrupt is an annual technology conference held by TechCrunch to give the spotlight to influential speakers and promising new startups. This year the event was held in San Francisco, beginning with the Hackathon and then continuing to the Startup Battlefield and Startup Alley.

Klint Finley, a writer for, shared his picks in September for the best new businesses that promise to bring online dating out of the 90s and into the modern world. The key to making the leap, he says, is integrating three things:

  1. New developments in video
  2. Social networking capabilities
  3. Mobile functionality

The first new site he profiles is VideoDate. VideoDate was started by Michael Cafferata, a firefighter who followed his passion for improving the online dating experience in his free time. His take on online dating is an entirely mobile video chat app. Instead of static profiles, VideoDate encourages real interaction with face-to-face video chats and instant messaging. It's all done from your phone, so you can date anytime, anywhere.

For Facebook fans, there's now Frimper. Like traditional dating sites Frimper has a matching algorithm element, but it also includes an online speed-dating component. Frimper's matching strategy goes beyond what you say about yourself to include the impressions from other Frimper users who interact with you. You may not think of yourself as outgoing, for example, but if other users tag you as outgoing after chatting with you, that important piece of info will be added to Frimper's matching system.

Dateini was designed to solve a very different problem: What do you do once you've already got a date? Dateini's "virtual concierge service" choses a date itinerary for you based on the info you give it about location, your budget, the desired theme, etc. The theme categories currently available are Romantic, Music, and Entertainment. 10 major U.S. cities have Dateini so far, and hopefully it will be expanding soon.

The last new biz covered by Finley is, the final stop in your online dating life. is a wedding planning app that consolidates everything wedding into one place. Create your own wedding website in 5 minutes, then use it to plan, organize, and budget your special day. You can also use it to register for gifts, connect with your guests, and keep track of your calendar.

New developments in video? Check. Social networking capabilities? Check. Mobile functionality? Check. Online dating is getting more interesting by the minute.