OPW INTERVIEW - Feb 17 - Lovestruck is a UK dating brand that was bought by a Hong Kong company in mid-2016. They partnered with Gorgeous Networks (GN) to do matchmaking. A fascinating and tough field for dating sites. Here's my interview with Lorraine Adams, CEO of GN.
What is your company and founding story?
Gorgeous Networks launched Speed dating events in 2000. The media had a love affair with the Speed dating trend and the events we ran were called, 'Gorgeous Get-Togethers.' One year later I started my first online dating site aimed at busy professionals. I have continued servicing this demographic by introducing new events, online sites and in recent years matchmaking services with my 'Coffee and Company' brand. I also had 'Calcudating' published in 2010.
You've teamed up with Lovestruck for matchmaking services, how does that work?
Gorgeous Networks was approached in February 2017 by the Love Group who had acquired high-end online dating site 'Lovestruck' from founder Brett Harding months earlier. As a company with a big audience in East Asia the Love Group felt they needed to evolve the online business to stay in tune with the needs of their core demographic, busy professionals. They decided an affordable matchmaking service could potentially be the answer. Research had shown many of their typical online users were becoming jaded with the online dating experience.
Lovestruck Infinity was launched in London in March 2017 to offer an alternative to online dating. I put together and trained a team of talented sales people and client services staff and worked closely with the Love Groups new CEO Michael Ye, to help build a pioneering CRM system which included my unique matching algorithm. I trained the East Asian teams on how to operate a matchmaking service. The aim was to build and scale a service similar to the Coffee and Company brand.
The new business direction has been a success and really seems to have struck a chord with an audience who were very obviously lacking enthusiasm to continue with online and App dating.
What kind of matchmaking do you do and where?
We market ourselves as a Match Consultancy to our potential clients and we offer a great service. After a free face-to-face sales consultation in our London West End offices joiners are then invited in for a full evaluation. This is to understand their key qualities, traits and attributes, such as values, energy aura and characteristics. We also look at what we call a clients specific 'Dating DNA' - their masculine or feminine traits and preferences. Learning all of this helps us ascertain if there's a good chance of a mutual chemistry between prospective match candidates.
How much do you charge?
Our team creates the clients profile, source matches and make all the arrangements for the coffee date or a glass of wine. They also seek and give an overview of the feedback after the date. Our fees range from £500 - £4k+vat which is far more affordable than typical matchmaking services. We operate in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shenzhen and Bangkok. Typically our conversion rates from online users to Match making services is around 50/60%. The Love Group is hoping to expand their business as a global franchise operation. The business model could be very appealing to other online dating businesses looking to open new revenue streams.