For many, this is the problem with dating apps today: You want to be on one, but don’t want to be seen on one. Especially if you’re someone “important,” like a CEO, a politician, or anyone who considers herself or himself to be “kind of a big deal.” That’s the thinking behind The League, a new dating app in private beta in San Francisco that aims to solve this problem — at least for people who are deemed special enough to join its privileged ranks.
Wait … I just got a little nauseous. OK, it passed. Admittedly my queasiness is probably because The League would never let me into their community. Ever.
New members to The League are primarily recruited through referrals, and an algorithm that looks at things like education and profession determines who gets let in off the waiting list of several thousand. Unlike other dating apps like Tinder, users in The League can also limit who sees their profile — no Facebook friends, coworkers, LinkedIn contacts or people who don’t meet your preferences.
The League also does not offer an ever-changing stream of smirking faces and pithy one-liners. There is no swiping right or left. Users are shown only five possible matches a day. If they don’t connect with any, they have to wait until the next day’s group is offered. If Tinder is a big box store for partner-shopping, the League, with its minute pool and strict admissions criteria, is an exclusive boutique.
Even though the power couple-making app is only in beta with 4,500 San Francisco-based users, The League just announced $2.1 million in investor funding last Thursday. “I was just going to raise a small seed round, but we had a bunch of interest and we went from $500,000 to $2.1 million almost overnight,” The League founder Amanda Bradford told Tech Crunch.
“The best universities curate students,” Bradford said to Business Insider. “Employers curate their employees. Work and school are the top places where 20-somethings meet each other. So it makes sense for a dating community [as well.]”
Needless to say, the unemployed need not apply.
So, how does it work? Singles apply to join, and then wait for approval by administrators. While apps like Tinder and Hinge pull user data from Facebook, The League also goes to LinkedIn to curate its community — largely made up of lawyers, doctors and tech executives.
Business Insider reports:
The acceptance algorithm that The League uses scans the social networks to ensure applicants are in the right age group and that they are career-oriented. That doesn’t mean they have to be Ivy graduates or work for a big-name firm. But they should have accomplished something in their 20s.
Basically, The League positions itself as the dating app for people who don’t need a dating app.
“You’re smart, busy and ambitious,” says the headline on the apps’ website. “You don’t need a dating app to get a date — you’re too popular as it is. But, you should join The League.”
Wait … I just got a little nauseous. Again.
Once it rolls out in 2016, Bradford hopes to draw members seeking a high-quality dating experience. Already, The League boasts more than 20,000 more on its waiting list for public beta.
“Our platform has made more than 22,000 matches, but more importantly, we feel confident we’re on track to building a better environment for ambitious, driven singles to meet,” said Bradford, a Stanford MBA graduate, with an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon. “Once matched, our League users average a 70% reply rate and a 20% offline meetup rate, metrics we feel are a testament to the higher quality experience we offer our members.”
Until next year’s roll out, those who are not yet League-worthy can download the app on iTunes.
Hold onto your sick bags, it’s going to be a rocky ride.
For more on The League check out this article in The New York Times