Amanda Bradford On How They Raised $M in Funding for Exclusive Dating App The League
Mar 8, Why not join a dating app open only to a selected few? of backlash that overtook the nightmarish human-rating app Peeple, Luxy's CEO $, (£ ,) a year, but a humble $, income will get you in the door. Mar 23, How Raya's $8/month dating app turned exclusivity into trust Not even a profile on Crunchbase's startup index. . But the beauty of the business is that since all users pay $ per month, it doesn't need that many to earn. Interview with The League CEO Amanda Bradford: why her dating app for revenue by offering paid memberships; – The waitlist for The League has.
As famous people are instantly recognisable and attract consumer interest, they can bring attention to a brand in a way that no other type of advertising can. If they keep at it and stick to their exclusive ways, then the creators could be on to a real moneymaker. Celebrities are scared of sex scandals or their personal life leaking online so it's not so easy for them to meet people in bars or at parties - the cost of finding true love is always a lot higher for them.
Sparkology is another luxury matchmaking service for "well-intentioned men and women," where users are all verified graduates of top-tier schools. Luxy is another exclusive app that only allows wealthy members to come on board - keeping the gates closed to all the poor people.
Hanky is a gay-member only app that strives to only let big name players in and "keeps the creeps out. Founded by Amanda Bradford, she explained to The Guardian, "The brand of The League is really for these ambitious driven, young professionals that want to date other ambitious, driven young professionals.
Our requirements for women are just as rigorous as our requirements for men. The men know that women they meet in The League are career oriented, intelligent, ambitious and are working just as hard. He told Page Six that he met another user at her million-dollar New York apartment that had been paid for by her very rich parents who also owned a private jet and were close friends with a presidential candidate.
From Raya to Tinder Select: the world of elite dating apps | Technology | The Guardian
John recalls, "Within minutes, she got naked, handed me her phone and asked me to photograph her. She had floor-to-ceiling windows and her doorman was watching us from the street.
They send out updates: Really, the company is doing everything it can to create a disruptive exclusive experience. Where it's not so old school traditional, and you're on the phone with your matchmaker and then she's going out to parties and passing your business card out, I guess.
I don't quite know how it all works, but I like to think that dating apps have really reinvented that part of the industry too.
Yeah, I think so too. I mean, I think a lot of people listening to this, maybe aspiring entrepreneurs, or current entrepreneurs are like, "Where am I going to find the love of my life? I hear a lot of these stories. There's one really well known author in the LA area, and he has his interns, he makes them sign NDA's and then they just help swife, and that's how he does it.
There's another guy, his way of matchmaking is finding other models in the Beverly Hills area and then she just connects him with a bunch of her girlfriends, or whatever, so I think there's a lot of different ways. I just never was really exposed to this world until the last few years.
I guess if you go down the rabbit hole, I think you'll find it a lot more. Just letting you guys know, maybe you even want to dig in, you can. Yeah, I mean just from a pure business standpoint I think that the space is completely changing. Dating has been around since the 90's, mash. It's kind of an old dinosaur industry and I think that there's a lot of new innovation happening and with the mobile first. The millennials affinity for these mobile first products?
I think that yeah, this is how people are dating now. There is no traditional way, like that is all getting replaced.I Signed Up For a MILLIONAIRE ONLY negeriku.info Happened Will SHOCK You
There's a lot of people upset about it. A lot of people crying about traditional dating going out the window, but I personally think that these technology platforms are giving us better options. We're able to have more selection and make better choices for ourself. If you think about it, that's the best way to optimize a decision, is having the best selection possible.
Now you no longer have to date the people you meet at work, or live next door to you, because you can actually use a platform and meet people that might be across town that you'd have never run into naturally.
I think that that's such a cool thing, that people don't give dating and dating app the world, credit for that. Yeah, I think it's the same thing as when people used to look down on social media and it's like, "Oh no, I want the human connection," but at the end of the day, it's just another way to communicate and get things faster, which is exactly what you're alluding to.
I guess one more question around the app itself before I talk about business. What kind of success stories have you seen around the League? Just if you were looking at some context. Like almost so many that we don't even want to market it, because I've been really reticent I don't want to be known as sort of the eharmony app, where you just produce marriages, because I think a lot of people, myself included, I want to be on a dating app where people are looking to date seriously, but we're not necessarily signing up for marriage necessarily.
That being said, we actually have had quite a lot of marriages and we actually have League babies coming out from all cities, so we're starting to stock up on League baby onesies to send them as a congratulations present. I think that our average age is 28 if you think about it. We're at the exact point where people start thinking about dating seriously and really looking for someone they could see as a life partner and I think that's a different type of search than when you're in your early 20's and you're just looking to kind of meet a lot of new people and figure out what you like.
Our user base sort of knows what they want and they're looking for them actively.
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I think because of that we do have a really high success rate and you'll notice, I think in New York and San Francisco especially, most of the dates you see people on are League dates because we just have this really high conversion rate. We have a much less matches on the League than these other sites, because we only give three to five matches, but we make up for it because all the matches almost always convert or at least try to at least exchange phone numbers and try to meet up. What we don't have in quantity, what I think we make up in quality.
Because of that high conversion rate once you get a lot of people in person and there's obviously going to be a high probability of success and marriage, and we've seen that with the data. It's been a really cool experience to actually see it working and to see these pretty bad ass women and men, who oftentimes are both running divisions at top tier companies and they would've never found each other if it wasn't for a platform like the League and that's super exciting to me.
You know, you just said you turned monetization on, so how much does this cost for new people coming in? Yeah, so we've experimented with a lot of different things.
We started with a monthly membership, that was optional. We quickly switched to a one year membership, that's also optional. It's really for those users that value their time. I like to say we monetize the people that value their time the highest and I think that's okay. I always say, I'm like one of those people that when I'm late I will pay 10x on Uber, just to get me there. That's kind of in our monetization strategy.
It's people that want to make sure the person sees them right away, right next, and they'll pay to guarantee that and be in front of the line. We want a diverse background of pretty ambitious, driven people.
It's not about income. Half my friends are entrepreneurs and are basically at the poverty line, so it's definitely not an income type of a thing, but I think we're really trying to monetize in sort of an ethical way. Which in dating is actually pretty hard, a lot of dating sites tend to monetize with kind of the easiest way forward and we're really trying to really help people pay, because they like the product and because they want more of something.
Women pay just as much on the app for every type of product as men do and we're really the only dating app that can claim that.
Raya (app) - Wikipedia
Right, I love it. Because from a product habit standpoint, once you've paid for something you start to take it seriously. Versus when something's free you kind of don't take it as seriously.
That's at least how I behave. They're less flaky, they respond to people. It's almost like that payment puts a fire under them to actually be a good user.
It was almost a hands down decision, like yes, we're probably not optimizing for revenue, but our user behavior was so much better with the one year membership. That's why we switched to it. I want to talk about your launch strategies, because it sounds like you're going to these cities and then you're launching.
What are you doing there exactly? Is that the most effective thing that's working for you in terms of driving more users, I guess? Yeah, so we are very referral based, meaning that's kind of our primary strategy. We don't really do much digital marketing.
We've experimented with a couple Facebook and Instagram ads here and there, but for the most part we really depend on our user base to refer other awesome people in these cities we're going to.
One of our big parts of our strategy, I actually did a talk on this at Hustle Con, it's on YouTube, but basically we call it pre-partying, or pre-gaming, I always say pre-gaming at launch.
We try to go to the cities a week or two before we launch, throw a party, if not two or three, meet a lot of the users. Really try to understand the dating culture. What people are excited about and take that back and then launch afterwards once we've let them get a chance to spread the word. We always try to come to each city and really meet the users face to face before we launch in that city. So we have yet to launch a city without me and the whole team, a team of like five or six of us on the launch team, and we've been flying out every single city and literally talking to everybody that comes to the event.
It's not a super cost effective strategy, but it's one that I think pays off in the long run. I see that you guys have raised what, 2. Yeah, we're about two and a half, yeah. I'm sure one of the questions that you get when you're raising money is around, "Oh you know with dating apps, they're tough because once the user's successful they don't need the product anymore," so how do you[crosstalk Everyone thinks they're like the smartest person in the world when they tell you that.
They'll all like pat themselves on the back and they're like, "Wow, I bet you haven't thought about that," and I'm like this is my industry. That's like telling a used car salesman that they're going to have to buy more cars when they sell the car. Of course, that's awesome.
Look, that's the nature of our industry. When we successfully match people, two people leave, but you know what? They each tell five friends and those five friends when they see them getting married down the aisle, you bet they join and you bet they actually pay for a membership.
That's the way I look at it. Right, that totally makes sense. There you go VC's. That's what I say to the VC's. Fundraising and dating is kind of akin to fundraising and e-commerce, or hardware.
It's just tough, it's tough, it's not fun. A lot of people have been burned and not a ton of amazing exits and a lot of people who are kind of remembering this phase from yesteryear of the 90's. The eharmony's the Zoosk's, and I argue that it's a totally different industry now. Since Tinder's come along it's literally, it's one of the main four apps millennials use on their phone. It's on the home screen. We should be in a prestigious category at this point because we're sitting there right next between gmail and Uber on someone's phone.
I think things take a long time to change and I think that people are slowly changing their views on the dating space, but it's not any easy space to fundraise in by any means.
You mentioned in one of your previous interviews that you see yourself becoming a thought leader. How are you doing this today besides podcasts like this? I'm just using you Eric. No, we've been kept the team super lean. I have five roles, like individual contributor roles on top of management roles, so everyone on the team's wearing 10 hats right now. So I think the goal is to hire a leadership team that I can start to delegate a lot of the things I'm working on, and then really start to think about dating.
I like to call it dating 3. I think we're in dating 2. I think dating 3. I think there's a lot of interesting things going on with the geo location, with video, with VR, with AI. There's a lot of really interesting tech things that you can incorporate into dating. My goal is, I always say I want the League to be a tech company that nails dating and can nail other things, but first and foremost, we're a tech company and we build an amazing mobile application that uses technology to solve human problems, and so that's sort of how we think about it.
We want to be on the cutting edge of the newest consumer app craze and making sure we're giving millennials the features that they're asking for. Is there a section on the app, because you just mentioned looking for that integrator or the COO type of person, isn't there a section where you can just switch off and then go find those people with the League?
You mean, sorry, clarify the question? Like is there a more networking aspect of the League rather than dating? I think I saw it like the ability to switch off dating, right? Or maybe in the beginning where it's qualifying you it's saying, "Are you single and looking right now, or are you just going to connect? Someone made a joke, they were like, "Wait are you doing swingers? I match you with the woman of your dreams and you guys are happily ever after.