LikeBright helps you meet trusted friends of friends.
Today’s featured startup, LikeBright, helps single people meet trusted friends of friends. Link to the original article here.
Online dating is a $2B industry in the United States alone, but only 4% of singles pay, because the experience is poor – great women get too many messages and great guys need a better way to stand out. After talking with more than 1,000 women, the LikeBright team learned that women don’t trust the unproven algorithms on dating sites and would rather meet people the old fashioned way: through the proven social signal of referrals from the people they trust. LikeBright is building a dating layer on Facebook to help single people meet trusted friends of friends. Read our interview with Co-Founder and CEO, Nick Soman.
What inspired you to start your company?
Since the beginning of dating, most people have had the met their partners through mutual friends. I met my fiance Anna through a friend, and she’s way out of my league. At LikeBright, we’re just bringing that opportunity online.
Tell us something unique about you and your co-founder(s)?
We met at Startup Weekend and collaborated on multiple projects before joining forces on LikeBright. I worked as a product manager on the Amazon Kindle and a strategy consultant. I sang in a neighborhood punk band growing up in Seattle.
My CTO Richard had blue hair and played keyboard in a Utah college band. Richard was the first technical lead for the Amazon Canada team in 2001, worked as a technologist for T-Mobile, Clearwire and various startups and has built enterprise-grade software that uses graph theory algorithms for network analysis. He has 2 software patents and met his wife online.
We both love music as well as relationships.
What problem does your product or service solve?
Dating can be hard, especially for selective single people looking for meaningful relationships. They do not have time and often lack the opportunity to meet new people. And they dislike the long questionnaires, minimal social context, and lack of trust and transparency on existing dating sites.
Women have told us that they don’t like the lack of social context on dating sites and would prefer to meet people their friends know and can vouch for. LikeBright makes that easy.
What are your startup’s three biggest challenges to growth?
1) Exposure. We’re early and we need to get the word out.
2) Privacy concerns. Your friends can’t see you’re on LikeBright, and we won’t post to Facebook unless you tell us to – we need to make sure our users understand how safe they are.
3) We need to offer clear and immediate benefits to the great folks who try our site. We’re working on it!
How has Startup America Partnership helped you overcome these challenges to growth?
Startup America is a great platform for publicity and feedback, both of which we welcome.
What Startup America Member Benefits have you used?
We’ve attended local meetings, taken advantage of free publicity and used some of the vendor discounts.
Why should startups join Startup America?
Startup America is the first broad-based initiative I’ve seen that aims to tie together startup cultures across the country.
What is the startup culture like in your City/State?
I love the Seattle startup scene! You can read more about it and see my challenge to fellow startup founders in GeekWire atwww.geekwire.com/2012/founders-promise-put-money-angst
What else should we highlight about your startup?
We’re a graduate of TechStars Seattle 2011, and we have strong advisors including David Evans (Online Dating Post), Lance Tokuda (RockYou and SchoolFeed) and Brian Phillips (Flixter and Thread.com).
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