The League

Why VCs Are Wary Of Swiping Right On Dating Startups

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The dating industry remains a firm favorite for entrepreneurs who dream of founding the next breakout startup. But for many big-time investors, new dating platforms are risky ventures in a crowded market that may not be worth betting on. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Crunchbase News took a look at the relationship between startups, investors and the pursuit of finding a mate. Their status? It’s complicated.

Online dating has proved it can be an enormously profitable industry, yet despite producing impressive numbers, it often struggles to lure venture funding. “In 2018,” writes Joanna Glasner, “venture investors put $127 million globally into 27 startups categorized by Crunchbase as dating-focused. While that’s not chump change, it’s certainly tiny compared to the more than $300 billion in global venture investment across all sectors last year.”

Global venture investment in dating startups currently leans heavily toward companies based in China. Blued, a China-based dating app for gay men, received nearly 80 percent of dating-related capital in 2018. In 2017, Chinese mobile dating app Tantan received the bulk of dating investment. In 2014, Beijing-based matchmaking site Baihe raised a staggering $250 million.

The League’s First Singles Cruise Will Set Sail This Summer

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The singles cruise is getting a millennial-friendly makeover this August, thanks to a new partnership between up-and-coming cruise operator U by Uniworld and exclusive dating app The League.

"A lot of our users on the app are saying that they're really sick of the first date," said Brianna Haag, The League's head of events and partnerships. "People want different types of experiences. They don't want the interview plus cocktail at a bar."

The League’s answer to bar fatigue is a weeklong adventure that will take place along France's Seine River. The itinerary includes stops at Rouen, Honfleur, Vernon and Paris, with excursions like biking along the Seine and touring the Palace of Versailles. While aboard the ship, guests can experience a spa, silent discos, farm-to-table cuisine, wine tastings and (we assume) plenty of opportunities to live out their sexy sailor fantasies.

Dating App Toffee for Posh People Launches in UK

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Are you a private school alum living in the UK? You’re in luck – a new dating app called Toffee will be launching to connect you with other private school types.

Toffee was founded with the notion that "people who hold similar views and values, and have shared the same life experiences (such as going through the same education system) are more likely to be attracted to each other and stick together," according to its website.

There has been mixed response to the buzz the app is generating. Instagram posts and a short introductory video on the app’s website point to an elite clientele, with young men dressed in suits and tuxes and attractive women decked out in evening gowns, champagne at the ready. Many reviews are labeling it as another elite dating app, geared to help connect wealthy people.

Everyone’s First Profile Photo Is Now Black And White On The League

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It’s been a big year for The League. The members-only dating app for “high-achieving” singles launched for Android in January, and has expanded to more than 20 cities including London, Toronto, Miami, Detroit, Denver, Seattle, and Portland.

Only a lucky few are accepted onto the app, after passing through a strict screening process that now requires applicants to be “attractive enough to at least look good in black-and-white photos.”

That’s right, The League is going monochrome.

The company announced Monochrome View in a blog post on October 24. The new feature displays every profile’s first picture in black and white, requiring users to swipe through all the pictures if they wish to see the same photo in full color. The question is: why?

Tinder Offers a Secret Dating Service called Tinder Select for the Elite

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According to website Tech Crunch, Tinder has been offering a dating service for its most elite users for at least six months without announcing its existence.

“Tinder Select” is just as it sounds – a dating service for those Tinder users who are high profile and the most desirable, such as celebrities, supermodels and CEOs, so they can have access to date and message other high profile users and bypass the normal user matches.

But before you get excited to join and flirt with the A-listers, you can’t. Or at least most of us can’t because Tinder has to invite you first.

How Dating Apps are Evolving After the U.S. Election

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Let’s face it, the U.S. election was a polarizing event, and now that it’s over, people in both camps are weary of those in the other. This can make two strangers who meet via a dating app hesitant about each other. Should they talk politics or not? Will political party allegiance be a factor in whether or not the relationship moves forward?

More and more daters are wondering where their dates stand politically than ever before. For many, it’s not about playing politics, but about connecting over shared values. Conservatives and Democrats are very divided in what’s most important on a more personal level, so much so that it can affect romantic relationships.