What’s He Like? Check the Lulu App
By Deborah Schoeneman
A few weeks ago, after Alexandra Amin, an associate at Warner Brothers, split up with a realtor she was indeed dating for per year, her friend informed her about a fresh, free, female-friendly social network application that allows females anonymously review men whom are their Facebook buddies.
“She ended up being like, ‘He’s so crazy, you ought to speed him on Lulu, ’ ” said Ms. Amin, 29, whom lives in Los Angeles. Ms. Amin offered the ex hashtags including #NeverSleepsOver and #FriendZone. He scored a 6.9 away from 10, which, she admitted, ended up being “lower than he really deserves. ”
On Lulu, ladies can speed guys in groups — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, buddy or general — by having a quiz that is look at this now multiple-choice. Females, their sex confirmed by their Facebook logins, include hashtags that are pink a man’s profile which range from the great (#KinkyInTheRightWays) into the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) into the ugly (#PornEducated). The hashtags are used to determine a rating generated by Lulu, which range from 1 to 10, that appears under the man’s profile image. (The company’s spokeswoman declined to spell out the reviews algorithm. ) Guys can add on hashtags, which can be found in blue, however these are not factored in their general 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 received us to Lulu had been that dating without having a reference could be the scariest thing you certainly can do, ” said Erin Foster, 31, an actress and writer. “Meeting some body call at the planet whenever you’re perhaps perhaps not in college or work that is don’t one another or have actually shared buddies — you've got no concept exactly just what you’re getting into. ”
Ms. Chong, 32, a previous person in the Jamaica Fed Cup tennis group, is currently relocating Lulu from London to ny, where she said the audience for her software had grown 600 % within the last half a year, in accordance with the analytics provider Mixpanel. “The trendsetting money for ladies is ny and that is where we have to be, ” she stated recently.
Sewell Robinson, 24, who lives when you look at the East Village and works well with a marketing agency, estimated that 70 per cent of her friends that are female Lulu; she's got reviewed 10 guys from the software, some generously. “I have actually written several reviews to market man friends, ” Ms. Robinson stated. “If a random woman satisfies them in a club and it is somewhat interested, i would like them to possess an excellent rep on Lulu. ”
But she's got additionally panned males, in a spirit that is sisterly. “I think often girls feel like they don’t have that much power into the hookup world, ” Ms. Robinson stated, “but this provides them one thing to bond over, and you will offer advice to a woman you’ve never ever met before. ” accordingly enough, the app had been introduced in sororities, which representatives of this company continue steadily to check out. “Sororities are a recognised community of girls that are speaking about relationships, and term spreads very quickly, ” Ms. Chong stated. “We changed the item a lot along with their assistance. ” (She said that one fourth of most university females now utilize Lulu, based on Mixpanel. )
Ms. Chong herself never belonged to a sorority; she went to Florida Global University for a tennis scholarship and after legislation school struggled to obtain Upstream, a big marketing firm that is mobile. She credited her entrepreneurialism in component to her Canadian mom, whoever family members helped begin the Calgary Stampede, summer time rodeo, along with her Chinese-Jamaican daddy, whom she stated came to be poor but won a lottery and utilized the windfall to start a tourism company.
She got the concept for Lulu during a boozy brunch with feminine buddies your day after A valentine’s day that is awkward setup. “We were all stories that are sharing dudes, relationships and sex, ” Ms. Chong stated. “There were tears and laughter. ” She determined that females needed a concentrated internet search engine for dating — a “Guygle. ”
“once you Google a man, you don’t wish to know he wrote a paper about in college, ” Ms. Chong said if he voted Republican or what. “You need to know if mothers like him. Does he have good ways? Is he sweet? ”
Ms. Chong founded Lulu with a buddy, Alison Schwartz, an assistant that is former the literary agent Amanda Urban, called Binky. Final February, they secured $2.5 million in funding from people including Yuri Milner, a early investor in Facebook, 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 was constantly to appear to be exactly just how women that are young to their very own friends, ” she said.
They presently employ about 30 people and also have finalized an eight-year rent for the 5,500-square-foot natural area in Chelsea, where they intend to go the business year that is early next.
Ms. Chong no more has need certainly to be an energetic Lulu individual; this woman is searching 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, plus the cousin of Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet’s husband that is new.
Ms. Chong and Mr. Brockway came across final spring 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 separate means.
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