Raising $150K to launch our app product

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The business of helping single men and women meet each other for casual connections, dating, or lasting love is big business. In fact, according to a 2019 study conducted by a leading research-based management consulting firm, the global dating app market alone is expected to surpass $8.4 billion annually by 2024 with a compound annual growth rate of more than 5.3%.

Like most industries with significant TAM and impressive compound annual growth rates (CAGRs), the dating app space is crowded with players trying to cash in.  Most try to differentiate themselves in new and unique ways: offering innovative methods for how users connect (e.g., Bumble, where only women can initiate conversations), while others try to differentiate by focusing on niche groups (e.g., JDate, a dating service aimed at Jewish singles), The point is, there are plenty of dating apps out there to help singles connect with each other and for that reason, we did not feel the need to build another one. However, we did recognize a virtually untapped opportunity within this growing market. To fill this key gap in the online dating and relationship industry, we created RelationshipDNA.

Today, the number of single adults around the globe is unprecedented, with more than 107 million in the U.S. alone. For a variety of reasons, people are staying single longer than ever before, but once they are ready to settle down with a long-term partner or spouse, they tend to want to move quickly, and more importantly, to be as efficient in doing so as possible. Repeatedly spending months dating someone only to eventually realize he or she is not “the one” leaves many feeling hopeless about their prospects. Unfortunately, for millions of single adults, making the shift from casual dating to dating to find a spouse presents a challenge that most are simply not prepared for, and the process quickly becomes a source of significant frustration.

Casual dating is about having fun, and for many singles that have waited until later in life to begin their search for a significant other have settled into a dating routine that supports the casual relationships they’ve had up until now. The challenge is that when people shift away from recreational dating to trying to find a compatible life partner, the way they date needs to change. In this situation, the old saying “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” couldn’t be more applicable. At this point, dating is no longer just about having fun — it’s now about trying to determine long-term compatibility as well, and therein lies the opportunity.

Research has shown that a major contributor to a happy and long-lasting romantic union is “relationship satisfaction.” The more satisfied people are in their relationship, the less likely they are to want that relationship to end. This is in large part why we believe the first step to dating differently is to know yourself and to know what truly makes you feel satisfied in your relationships. This may seem simple or easy to accomplish at first glance, but it’s not. There are obvious contributors that are easy to see, just like the tip of the iceberg, but the vast majority exist below the surface, making them harder to identify and truly understand. This is the first of three areas where RelationshipDNA enables singles to date smarter and more efficiently.

RelationshipDNA is a collection of psychology-based self-help and personal development resources that were created specifically for single adults who are done with casual dating, serious about finding their ideal match, and frustrated with the lack of results from their efforts so far. Using the same scientific methodology as Meyers-Briggs and other personality assessments, RelationshipDNA assesses and measures a person’s relationship needs to determine the most significant contributors and detractors to their long-term relationship satisfaction.  

RelationshipDNA is a self-provisioning web application that consists of four tools: the Relationship Satisfaction Profiler, the Profile Types, AboutME, and Insights. The science behind RelationshipDNA is called psychometrics. Psychometrics is a focus area within the field of psychology and education that is devoted to testing, measurement, and assessment. The origins of psychological assessments of this type date back to 1859 and they are commonly used to measure many things such as intelligence, aptitude, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits. In fact, many companies use psychometric assessments as part of their hiring process to help them determine a candidate’s suitability for a particular job.  

In addition to creating the RelationshipDNA platform itself, our experts also developed a blueprint for users to follow, taking the guesswork out of trying to figure out how to apply these tools, making the process as easy for singles to execute as possible. We call it the LEARN, SHARE, ENGAGE method.

  • LEARN is based on the idea that each and every one of us is more complex than we realize and understanding what truly makes us feel happy and satisfied in our relationships is critically important.  
  • SHARE is based on the idea that once we are clear on what we need in order to feel satisfied in our relationships, it is time to share that information with potential love interests openly, honestly, and early.  
  • ENGAGE is based on the idea that after successfully making it through the SHARE phase, it’s time to engage with that special someone and begin having meaningful conversations that can now comfortably include topics that would otherwise be difficult, awkward, or even inappropriate to bring up so early in the dating process.
It is important to note, however, that anyone can use the LEARN, SHARE, ENGAGE method, whether they are RelationshipDNA customers or not, and we think that is fantastic. Sometimes, an idea or cause inspires such fervent feelings and action from a group that it becomes a movement that creates significant change in how people think, feel, and act. Over the years, movements like animal rights, corporate social responsibility, and even #MeToo began as concepts that ultimately evolved into movements that changed attitudes and behaviors. We believe that LEARN, SHARE, ENGAGE has the potential to do the same thing. Having said that, RelationshipDNA offers a complete solution that is affordable ($50 one time), easy to use, and makes the LEARN, SHARE, ENGAGE method much easier to successfully execute.  

The LEARN phase is supported by the Relationship Satisfaction Profiler (RSP), which is the heart of RelationshipDNA. It is the proprietary psychometric assessment that drives everything that we do. The RSP is composed of four macro-level dimensions: Trust, Intimacy, Expectations, and Communication. These four were chosen because they are among the most influential contributors to long-term relationship satisfaction. The four are further broken down into 41 unique sub-dimensions and ultimately broken down even further into 141 questions. The RSP takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Now, armed with a deeper level of self-awareness, it’s time to SHARE this knowledge. Unfortunately, sharing personal information early in a relationship is extremely difficult for many people and often feels counterproductive. (We don’t want to do anything to mess things up, right?) For most people, this is when they are on their best behavior. They are considerate, patient, polite, and as attentive as possible, until eventually they can no longer sustain “perfect” and their true self emerges in all of its glory (good, bad, and ugly). Human nature certainly has something to do with this, but it is also in large part a hangover symptom from a history of recreational dating. This tendency is fine when you’re just having fun and keeping things casual, but when the goal is to find a long-term partner without wasting time dating the wrong person, this is the true counterproductive behavior.

Despite the fact that being open and honest early on is the most efficient approach, we recognize that it’s still awkward and uncomfortable for many people to properly follow through with. So, to help with this, we’ve created two tools to support the SHARE phase: the Profile Types and the AboutME.

The Profile Types are groupings of people that have certain traits or characteristics in common. In the world of statistical data analysis, this is called a cluster. People in the same group are more similar to each other than they are to people in other groups. This does not mean that everyone in the same group is exactly the same. In the case of personality and human behavior, we are far too complex for that to be practical. Instead, the cluster implies that the people in the cluster have many of the same characteristics and behaviors in common. RelationshipDNA has a total of 10 Profile Types (five male and five female).  

The Profile Type is used as an adjective that anonymously describes a little about the individual. If he/she uses a dating app, the user can add their Profile Type to their personal description; for example, adding the words “I am an rDNA Owl.” Anyone who sees that can either ask what that means or Google it and find the answer. (Try searching for RelationshipDNA Owl on Google to see what pops up). Here is an excerpt from the Owl description:

“The Owl is the freewheeling thinker, the man who values intellectual conversation and deep connections with his partner. A rare breed, only 9% of men are Owls. His communication skills go unmatched and he seeks a partner who is ready to connect with him on a deeply intellectual as well as on a physical level. He enjoys expressing his affection for his partner in a physical way and will often touch his partner in some way...”

AboutME is a two-page summary of the RSP results. AboutME can be shared with potential new dates to help them quickly understand what they can expect if they were to pursue a relationship with the user. Using these tools allows them to ENGAGE in meaningful conversations sooner rather than later that would otherwise be awkward, uncomfortable, or even inappropriate to bring up early in the dating process. 

Additionally, in situations where both parties have completed the RSP, we’ve developed the Insights tool. Insights provides a side-by-side comparison that compares and analyzes two people’s assessment results and highlights the areas of compatibility or mismatch. Based on the comparison, Insights then provides recommended conversation topics and things to consider if they both choose to pursue the relationship.

We have three target customer segments. 

  1. The Lone Ranger: The men and women that are over 35, never married, tired of being single, tired of dating, concerned about the biological clock, etc.
  2. The Divorcee: Divorced men and women that are once again ready for a long-term relationship but are gun-shy about repeating the previous mistakes that got them divorced in the first place.
  3. The Youngin: Younger men and women that have never been married and are smart enough to know that divorce is too common to take picking a life partner for granted. 
We deliberately operated RelationshipDNA as a “side gig”.  This has extended our timeline, but it has also allowed us to minimize our spend while developing the psychometric testing algorithms at the core of our product, building the technology platform itself, testing and optimizing our marketing message and validating our value proposition in the market.  With this work  behind us, we are now ready for a full-scale product launch of RelationshipDNA.

RelationshipDNA was created by a husband and wife team (Rik & Rachael) that met online. Both were previously divorced, and both were all too familiar with how challenging and time consuming it can be to find your perfect match. Through personal experiences and by watching friends and family members repeat the cycle of dating, discovery & eventual disappointment, it became clear that there needed to be a better way to identify compatibility red flags earlier in the process.  To solve this problem, they hired a team of PhDs, psychologists, relationship therapists & developers to create the world’s first personal development and self-help platform for the chronically single.

Rik brings more than 20 years of experience in the technology business, a history of successful tech startup, operation & exit and he is currently an executive with a Fortune 500 technology company, running a $75M annual business.  Rachael is currently an SVP with leading consulting firm, acting as a strategist and advisor to some of the Nation’s top CEO’s & other C level executives. She brings a wealth of expertise in corporate strategy, business development and operations. Rachael holds an MBA and a Master’s degree in Social Work.

In summary, finding the right person for a relationship that lasts isn’t easy. It takes time to truly get to know someone. Some people spend months, even years with the wrong person. The cycle of feeling romantic, then trapped in a bad relationship is tiresome and frustrating. For women, the biological clock is ticking. If they want to start a family, they can’t afford to keep dating the wrong men.

RelationshipDNA uncovers relationship-related traits about an individual that are typically not obvious early in the relationship and allows you to consider the implications these facts may have on a long-term relationship. By combining a collection of science-based tools with a new approach to dating, RelationshipDNA allows for healthy and meaningful conversations sooner rather than later that help people move beyond surface impressions and get to the truth, or a realization sooner, thereby reducing the time it takes to truly get to know someone.

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