SmartDate raises $5M to hook you up

Faith Merino · November 22, 2010 · Short URL:

The online dating site is backed by angel investors and 360 Capital

It’s time to come clean.  We’ve all done it.  You go on Facebook and check out your news feed, browse your friends’ updates, and see some group picture posted by a friend of yours from his or her most recent trip to Tahoe.  One of the people in the picture catches your eye, and what you do next isn’t something your proud of, but…you click on that person’s name to see if he or she is single.  It feels so dirty and wrong, but you do it anyway!  Or am I alone on this one?…, a Paris-based website that launched in March of this year, provides a less shameful solution to that dilemma: instead of being a creepy cyber-stalker trolling around Facebook in search of fresh meat, you can connect to via Facebook to see if that friend of a friend is available and up for a meeting.  The site has taken off in a big way, and the company announced Monday that it has raised $5 million (€3.5 million) in a Series A round that brings the company’s total funds raised this year to $7.5 million.

In July, the company announced that the site had garnered some 300,000 members.  Today, it is on track to reach the 650,000-member mark by the end of the month.   The Web information company, Alexa, ranks as the number one French dating site in terms of unique monthly visitors, eclipsing the established leader, Meetic.

Users simply connect via their Facebook account (the site assures new members that none of their SmartDate activity will appear on their Facebook pages) and the site’s SmartSearch matching technology finds your ideal mate, so you might find that hot friend of a friend, or you might find yourself more suitably paired up with another SmartDate user who has no actual connection to you.  I, for example, have been matched up with a suave Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike in San Francosco.  Not bad, SmartDate.

The site offers weird cyber-flirting features, like a “wink” button, which sounds…gross… Or you can send direct messages to a person who catches your eye.  And the site operates internationally, so you can browse profiles from your own home town, or, if you feel like taking a fun, new, and slightly dangerous adventure, you can browse profiles in other countries.

The site recently released data on the dating habits of its users and found that female users whose first names ended in “a” had more than the average 4.4 sexual partners most women have in their lifetime.  The most sexually active name is Laura, with an average of 9.7 partners, followed by Tania with 9.6 partners, and Lola with 9.5 partners.  By contrast, names like Thérèse, Françoise, and Martine averaged between 1.1 and 1.3 partners.

This round of funding was led by angel investors Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet and Pierre Krings, co-founders of PriceMinister, the leading French eCommerce site, along with 360 Capital.


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