By Deborah Schoeneman
Nov. 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, after Alexandra Amin, an assistant at Warner Brothers, separated with a realtor she have been dating for per year, her friend informed her about a unique, free, female-friendly social network application that allows females anonymously review men who are their Facebook friends.
“She had been like, ‘He’s so crazy, you should rate him on Lulu, ’ ” said Ms. Amin, 29, who lives in l. A. Ms. Amin offered 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, females can speed guys in categories — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative — having a quiz that is multiple-choice. Females, their sex confirmed by their Facebook logins, add red hashtags to a man’s profile including the great (#KinkyInTheRightWays) towards the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) into the unsightly (#PornEducated). The hashtags are widely used to calculate a rating created by Lulu, which range from 1 to 10, that appears under the man’s profile picture. (The company’s spokeswoman declined to spell out the ranks algorithm. ) Guys can truly add hashtags, which can be found in blue, however these aren’t factored within their overall score.
As it was started a year ago by Alexandra Chong, who’s got a legislation level through the London class of Economics, the service has supplied a kind of “Take Back the net” moment for young ladies who attended of age in a time of revenge porn and anonymous, perhaps ominous suitors. “The thing that received us to Lulu had been that dating with out a guide may be the scariest thing you can certainly do, ” said Erin Foster, 31, an actress and journalist. “Meeting some body call at the entire world whenever you’re not in college or don’t work with one another or have actually shared buddies — you’ve got no clue just what you’re getting yourself into. ”
Ms. Chong, 32, a member that is former of Jamaica Fed Cup tennis group, is currently relocating Lulu from London to New York, where she said www.myukrainianbride.net/russian-bride the audience on her app had grown 600 percent within the last half a year, based on the analytics provider Mixpanel. “The trendsetting money for ladies is ny and that’s where we must be, ” she stated recently.
Sewell Robinson, 24, whom lives when you look at the East Village and works well with a marketing agency, estimated that 70 % of her friends that are female Lulu; she’s got reviewed 10 guys in the software, some generously. “I have actually written a reviews that are few market guy friends, ” Ms. Robinson stated. “If a girl that is random them in a club and it is notably interested, i would like them to own a great rep on Lulu. ”
But she’s additionally panned males, in a spirit that is sisterly. “I think often girls feel like they don’t have that much energy within the hookup world, ” Ms. Robinson stated, “but this provides them one thing to bond over, and you may give advice to a lady you’ve never ever met before. ” Appropriately enough, the app had been introduced in sororities, which representatives for the business continue steadily to see. “Sororities are an existing community of girls who will be dealing with relationships, and term spreads quickly, ” Ms. Chong stated. “We changed the merchandise a great deal due to their assistance. ” (She said that one fourth of most university ladies now utilize Lulu, according to Mixpanel. )
Ms. Chong by herself never ever belonged up to a sorority; she attended Florida Overseas University on a tennis scholarship and after legislation school struggled to obtain Upstream, a big mobile advertising company. She credited her entrepreneurialism in part to her Canadian mom, whoever family members assisted start the Calgary Stampede, summer time rodeo, and her Chinese-Jamaican dad, who she stated was created bad but won a lottery and utilized the windfall to start out a tourism business.
She got the concept for Lulu during a boozy brunch with feminine buddies your day after a embarrassing valentine’s day setup. “We were all stories that are sharing dudes, relationships and sex, ” Ms. Chong stated. “There had been tears and laughter. ” She concluded that ladies needed a concentrated internet search engine for dating — a “Guygle. ”
“once you Google a man, you don’t wish to know if he voted Republican or exactly what he composed a paper about in university, ” Ms. Chong stated. “You wish to know if moms 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 representative Amanda Urban, known as Binky. Final February, they secured $2.5 million in funding from individuals including Yuri Milner, an investor that is early 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 voice that is supportive. “Our objective had been constantly to seem like exactly how women that are young to their very own friends, ” she said.
They presently employ about 30 individuals and also have signed an eight-year rent for a 5,500-square-foot natural area in Chelsea, where they want to go the business year that is early next.
Ms. Chong not any longer has need certainly to be a dynamic Lulu user; she actually is searching for flats downtown along with her boyfriend, Jack Brockway, 33, a professional professional photographer who’s the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group creator, as well as the sibling of Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet’s husband that is new.
Ms. Chong and Mr. Brockway met final springtime on Maui at a kite-surfing and networking event where she had been offering a lecture and then he had been shooting a promotional vid. That they had a make-out that is brief and went their split methods.