By Deborah Schoeneman
Nov. 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, after Alexandra Amin, an assistant at Warner Brothers, split up with a representative she was in fact dating for per year, her friend informed her about a unique, free, female-friendly social network application that lets females anonymously review men whom are their Facebook buddies.
“She ended up being like, ‘He’s so crazy, you need to speed him on Lulu, ’ ” said Ms. Amin, 29, whom lives in l. A. Ms. Amin provided the ex hashtags including #NeverSleepsOver and #FriendZone. He scored a 6.9 away from 10, which, she admitted, was “lower than he actually deserves. ”
On Lulu, ladies can speed males in categories — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or general — having a multiple-choice test. Ladies, their gender confirmed by their Facebook logins, include red hashtags to a man’s profile including the nice (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to your bad (#NeverSleepsOver) to your unsightly (#PornEducated). The hashtags are accustomed to determine a rating produced by Lulu, which range from 1 to 10, that appears under the man’s profile image. (The company’s spokeswoman declined to describe the ranks algorithm. ) Guys can add hashtags, which come in blue, however these aren’t factored to their overall rating.
The service has provided a sort of “Take Back the Internet” moment for young women who have come of age in an era of revenge porn and anonymous, possibly ominous suitors since it was started last year by Alexandra Chong, who has a law degree from the London School of Economics. “The thing that drew us to Lulu had been that dating with out a reference could be the scariest thing you could do, ” said Erin Foster, 31, an actress and writer. “Meeting somebody call at the whole world whenever you’re maybe perhaps not at school or don’t work with one another or have actually shared buddies — you have got no clue exactly what you’re getting yourself into. ”
Ms. Chong, 32, a member that is former of Jamaica Fed Cup tennis group, is now relocating Lulu from London to nyc, where she stated the viewers on her behalf application had grown 600 per cent within the last few 6 months, in line with the analytics provider Mixpanel. “The trendsetting money for ladies is New York and that is where we have to be, ” she stated recently.
Sewell Robinson, 24, whom lives into the East Village and works well with a marketing agency, estimated that 70 per cent of her feminine friends use Lulu; she’s got evaluated 10 guys in the application, some generously. “I have actually written a reviews that are few market guy friends, ” Ms. Robinson said. “If a random woman satisfies them in a club and it is significantly interested, i’d like them to possess a beneficial rep on Lulu. ”
But she has additionally panned men, in a spirit that is sisterly. “I think often girls feel them one thing to bond over, and you will give advice to a woman you’ve never met before. Like they don’t have that much power within the hookup world, ” Ms. Robinson stated, “but this gives” accordingly enough, the application had been introduced in sororities, which representatives associated with the ongoing business continue steadily to see. “Sororities are a proven community of girls that are dealing with relationships, and term spreads quickly, ” Ms. Chong said. “We changed the merchandise a great deal along with their help. ” (She stated that one fourth of most university females now use Lulu, based on Mixpanel. )
Ms. Chong by herself never ever belonged to a sorority; she attended Florida Global University on a https://mail-order-brides.org/russian-brides/ tennis scholarship and after legislation school struggled to obtain Upstream, a large marketing firm that is mobile. She credited her entrepreneurialism in component to her Canadian mom, whoever household aided begin the Calgary Stampede, summer time rodeo, and her Chinese-Jamaican father, whom she stated was created poor but won a lottery and utilized the windfall to start out a tourism business.
She got the theory for Lulu throughout a boozy brunch with feminine buddies your day after a awkward valentine’s day setup. “We were all stories that are sharing guys, relationships and sex, ” Ms. Chong said. “There had been tears and laughter. ” She concluded that ladies needed a concentrated s.e. For dating — a “Guygle. ”
“When you Google some guy, you don’t wish to know he wrote a paper about in college, ” Ms. Chong said if he voted Republican or what. “You wish to know if moms like him. Does he have good manners? Is he sweet? ”
Ms. Chong founded Lulu with a pal, Alison Schwartz, a previous associate to the literary representative Amanda Urban, referred to as Binky. Final February, they secured $2.5 million in funding from individuals including Yuri Milner, a early investor in Twitter, and Hosain Rahman, a creator of Jawbone.
Ms. Schwartz, 35, is Lulu’s editorial manager. She stated she received from Cosmopolitan and Glamour mags to create the app’s supportive vocals. “Our objective ended up being constantly to seem like how women that are young to their very own friends, ” she said.
They presently employ about 30 individuals and possess finalized an eight-year rent for a 5,500-square-foot natural room in Chelsea, where they intend to go the organization early the following year.
Ms. Chong not any longer has need to be a dynamic Lulu user; she actually is shopping for flats downtown along with her boyfriend, Jack Brockway, 33, a professional photographer who is the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group creator, in addition to bro of Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet’s husband that is new.
Ms. Chong and Mr. Brockway came across final springtime on Maui at a kite-surfing and networking event where she ended up being offering a lecture in which he ended up being shooting a video that is promotional. That they had a brief make-out session and went their split ways.