Interview: Toffee Founder on 2019 International Expansion

Toffee, the dating app for the privately educated, has enjoyed a banner few months since launching in the UK.

Massive media coverage saw the brand attract an engaged user base, and secured founder Lydia Davis her place in the Global Dating Insights Power Book 2019.

GDI interviewed Davis this week to find out more about the success of the niche platform, and to get the lowdown on her plans for 2019.

Find the full interview below:

What have been the highlights at Toffee over the past 12 months?

LD: “Every day is a highlight seeing people join the app! It’s also been great to hear people talking about Toffee and saying they’re in a relationship from the app. It’s really just hearing that people are enjoying the app we’ve created!

Obviously being in the GDI Power Book has been a highlight too, along with being featured in Vogue internationally about the rise of niche dating apps.  

Another highlight was when we got our first £50,000 in revenue, which we felt was also a huge achievement.”

You’ve previously mentioned expanding into other countries with large privately educated populations. Are there any further developments there you can share with us?

LD: “We’re just finalising changes to the app so it’s ready for internationalisation. We’re going to be in Australia as soon as those are done. Then, we’ll launch Toffee in South Africa, Nigeria and India.

Please see the [below] index that shows that the opportunities for the app are huge internationally. When people think of being privately educated they think of the UK, but it’s far more popular abroad!”

What else can we expect from Toffee in 2019?

LD: “We’re going to give significant profit share to charities of our users’ choice. A couple of lines from our announcement this week:

‘In June 2019, Toffee Dating will be launching a new charity initiative, where users will be prompted to pick one-of-five charities both upon sign-up and while using the app if they haven’t already chosen.

‘At the end of each year Toffee will donate 33% of its annual profit share, split between the charities, in accordance to the percentage of users who have picked them.’

So, charity and going global for 2019!”

Image: Dan Kennedy

Outside of dating, what’s one brand that you really admire?

LD: “Crocs. To have such an ‘ugly’ product which a lot of people mocked, and then to go on and be a huge success worldwide is inspiring. They went for comfort and practicality and won people over, much to everyone’s surprise!

To be honest, there are so many brands I admire. Especially when their branding and experience is so emotive and powerful. When companies personalise their product and every piece of communication to reflect their vision and vibe I get excited. I’m a sucker for brands creating a tribe you want to be a part of!”

What’s your number one book recommendation for other dating industry professionals?

LD: “Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose. Renowned psychologist Ayala Pines shows us why we fall for the people we do, and argues convincingly that we love neither by chance nor by accident. I think it’s really important to understand the matching process and know more about dating, what makes better matches and how best to help people.

If I need to choose a book unrelated to dating it would be Shoe Dog: A Memoir of the Creator of Nike. It’s an excellent book for startups who don’t have big budgets but do have a real drive to do well. It’s tough to keep going, especially when the larger companies have so much spending power to gain awareness, but with the right product and people behind it there should be no stopping you, even if it’s not an overnight success.”

Visit the Toffee Website here.