Executive Interview: Darrell Lerner, co-founder SNAP Interactive, founder & president AllPaws

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Name: Darrell Lerner
Position & Company: Founder & President, DCL Ventures, Inc. (
Period of time in the role: We got started earlier this year.
Twitter ID: @DarrellLerner @AllPawsWebsite

Can you describe your role and what you do in one sentence?

I am the founder and we’re a really small team…so at this stage I pretty much do it all!

What is your personal style in business in three words?

Vision, detail and integrity.

Tell us a bit about your background and experience in the online dating world. 

I co-founded SNAP Interactive in 2005 with my brother and spent the past 7 years there. We created which launched on Facebook in the early days of Facebook Platform and has grown into one of the largest online dating properties in the world with approximately 70 million total installs.

How did the idea for come about?

I was trying to figure out what to do next and I kept coming back to my love for animals and wanting to do something involving pets. One day the lightbulb went off and I realized I could apply my online dating expertise toward building a much better way for people to search for pets to adopt.

How has the reaction been to the idea?

The reaction has been nothing short of phenomenal.  The rescues and shelters have all said that they’re dying for a better solution that will help get more pets adopted. The public demand is scary. The conversion rates for email address collection on my “coming soon” page are off the charts – north of 35%! And my friends have all said “this feels right for you!”

What are you most proud of in your role?

I love startups and creating something from nothing. I’m proud of taking something that was nothing more than an idea on paper a few months ago and already building it into something with 100,000 Facebook likes, 10,000+ signups, relationships with major players in the pets space, significant media attention, and something that everyone I know is convinced is going to turn into a market leader very quickly.

Do you think we will see more sites like AllPaws using the online dating model and its technology for different means?

The online dating industry is incredibly intelligent and hyper-competitive. It’s a small and select group of people that have succeeded in the dating space and possess that skill and expertise.

What sets your site apart from other pet search sites?

We are bringing a unique level of expertise in areas like search, matching and profiles – and combining that with a deep social media integration to create a much more modern and best-in-class product.

How is preparation for the site going and when do you plan to launch?

Everything is going great. It’s obviously a lot of work to build a site like this and to build it in a way that will scale, but we have a lot of talent on the technology side and we’re targeting a launch in mid-November.

What does the future hold for AllPaws, and does DCL Ventures have any other projects planned?

I have never been more excited about a project than I am with I have honestly never seen such a clear path toward creating a transcendent and market-leading product. I can’t wait to launch. is the only thing we’re focused on at this time. 

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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