As the downturn bites, VCs are putting more into the companies they feel most confident about rather than the spray-and-pray approach of the last three years. That, combined with companies that have proven models, and developing revenues. The latest example of this is the €15 million investment from the European VC Index Ventures into Be2, the Munich-based global dating site. But this is not your average dating site. This bases its business on an algorithm which identifies specific personality traits and characteristics and uses them to match potentially compatible partners. The engine draws its data from an in-depth personality test for subscribers, creating a higher success rate than humans could achieve left to their own amorous devices.
The test is mainly based on the “New York Longitudinal Study” about the five factor model of personality development and Sternberg “triangular theory of love” – if that floats your boat.
The user demographic of be2 is also slightly older, compared to other dating sites, with an age range of 25 – 69 years and a majority of users aged 30 – 49 years. Not a demographic well served by most dating sites. Perhaps as a results of this focus it now has 12 million members in 34 countries and was cash flow positive 6 weeks after a launch, despite having 225 employees.
be2 will use the capital to further international expansion. Angel investors and Paris-based Banexi Ventures were the company’s initial investors and Index partner, Dom Vidal, will take a seat on the board.
Coming out of Munich, the founders – such as CEO, Robert Wuttke – are mostly ex-Lycos Europe people from back in the day.