Name: Loren Gould
Position within company: Co-founder, Marketing
Period of time in role: One year
Tell us a little about your company.
Double is a new location-based double dating app that just launched in London in the run up to Valentine’s Day 2015. Double’s vision is to create a dating platform with the most face-to-face interactions between users by making dating safer, more fun, and less awkward. You sign up with a friend to create a joint profile, and get matched with other pairs nearby. Once you get a match, you can have a group chat within the app.
How did you get into the dating industry? What is your background in?
Gary MacDonough, Ben Greenock and I had worked together on a previous venture, where we sold ugly Christmas jumpers. The site was a huge success for the two years we ran it, but we wanted to do something that wasn’t so seasonal.
We were also eager to get into the apps industry, and looked into the kinds of apps that ourselves and our friends would want to use. Despite all of us using dating apps in the past, this is our first venture in the dating industry.
Gary has always worked in startups, including running a successful supplements business. Ben is a graphic designer and has worked with numerous high profile brands such as Starbucks and Bic. I come from a PR and marketing background, specializing in drinks, including Belvedere Vodka and Peroni beer.
Where did you get the idea for this app?
One of our good friends, Sarah, would regularly swipe through Glasgow’s finest on Tinder, get matches, but would never meet. One night in March 2014, we were all at Sarah’s house watching a movie, and she got matched with a good-looking guy. Sarah and her match chatted away, but she exclaimed that she would never meet him.
After I enquired why, she responded that it would be way too awkward and potentially unsafe to meet a stranger. She turned to our other friend Rebecca and said, “If only you could come with me and meet one of his friends too.” And right there and then, I had a “eureka” moment!
How is Double different from other dating apps on the market?
Double is designed for people who are interested in dating, but may not have the confidence to go on a first date, or “serial daters” who are looking for a new experience. Double takes the best elements of one-on-one dating (namely, the method of discovering people around you) and incorporates that into a group-dating framework. Once matched, the pairs are able to have a group chat in the app to get to know each other first, before deciding whether or not to go on a date. Double makes dating more fun, safer, and less awkward.
Aside from London, what are your most popular cities?
We just launched in London in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, so for now, we want to focus on optimising the user’s experience on the app before we roll out to the rest of the UK and internationally. We’re quite popular in Sydney though – which is odd, as we have done no marketing there. It just goes to show how global this business truly is!
Do you have any plans for international expansion?
Yes, we plan to roll out Double city by city throughout 2015, with plans to expand to the USA imminently.
Which specific features are you most excited to share with your users?
We’re hard at work on Double version 2 which will feature a number of user improvements and new features. We’re keeping quiet about it now, but watch this space…
Safety is a key concern for many online daters. How does Double help to ease the minds of online daters who may be worried about meeting with their match in person?
Double’s biggest strength is the safety provided by dating within a group. By being to able to bring your friend along, people feel safer and less intimidated about the prospect of meeting a potential date. Also, the group chat functionality means that people tend to be more genuine and themselves on the app, and we have significantly fewer instances of users reporting abusive behaviour in the app (almost zero).
What do you see as the biggest problems for online daters at the moment?
The amount of choice of dating apps that users have at the moment is staggering. However, some are not all they are cracked up to be, and at the end of the day, people need to be careful about who they are sharing their information with.
One of the major decisions in the world of dating apps is whether or not to monetise certain app features. Do you have any plans to monetise Double, and would you encourage others to do the same?
We do have plans to monetise Double, but we are keeping quiet about that at the moment until we get everything set in stone. The app industry has evolved significantly in the last couple of years, and we think it is a definite must for new app start-ups to have monetisation plans in place when they start. It’s not enough to tell investors that you’re going to get a bunch of users and expect them to invest — you need a fully-fledged business plan, which includes a revenue stream.
What are your plans for the future of this app?
Double’s vision is to create a dating platform with the most face-to-face interactions between users. We don’t want to become the biggest dating app, but we to be the app that has highest conversion from matches to people meeting up in person.
For more information about Double, check out the app’s official website.