Algorithm-driven dating site Be2 raises €15m from Index

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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.

  • http://human3rror.com John

    wow. not the prettiest site. but, it’ll do.

  • http://jimneath.org Jim Neath

    €15m for a site that has 54 users currently online? Jesus.

  • Bob

    12M users, but only 22K profiles. 71 users online when I looked. This is where the safe money is going? Sounds more a like bubble era deal to me.

    • EH

      That is certainly a weird disparity, especially since I can’t figure out a way to be a “user” (look at stuff) without registering (“profile”).

  • Sayula

    Techcrunch have linked this post to the wrong website. Index Ventures has invested in be2.com – not be2.net. Hopefully they’ll change this asap!

  • Tony

    Techcrunch, you made a mistake. be2.net is the crapiest site arround.

  • http://www.4dgames.de Flo

    Well yeah, wrong company in the box… fail :D

    • EH

      Well, the author’s name is “Butcher.”

  • Nicholas

    I guess the number of users online is not a factor. What’s important is that they are happy

  • http://www.plentyoffish.com Markus

    Most dating sites both free and paid have a average age of between 37 and 43 with yahoo the oldest at 41.

    Robert Wuttke has come a long way i met him when it first got off the ground, they seem to own the non english speaking world which most of the bigger sites can’t seem to do.

  • Nick M.

    I tried it, and I should say I like it. I already got a message from someone. I’ve even wired her money to fly to my city.

    • http://www.160tag.com Jason

      Nick M, that’s funny. You guys are a bit harsh, don’t you think. They haven’t done anything wrong, have they?!

  • http://www.nextmediaupdate.com/?p=313 November 13, 2008 | next media update

    […] Algorithm-Driven Dating Site Be2 Raises €15 Million from Index TECHCRUNCH 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. Source> […]

  • http://startupmeme.com/be2-fills-up-treasure-box-raises-15-million/ Be2 fills up treasure box, raises €15 million | Startup Meme - Technology Startup and Latest Tech News

    […] in a variety of personality traits and uses them to find matches that best fit their liking has raised €15 million from Index Ventures. The service is pretty interesting as it grabs in data from the […]

  • Tony

    Mike,

    You still need to change be.net to be.com in the description field.

  • john

    Yet another stupid matching algorithm.

    Can I not just talk to who I want and decide for myself? Questionnaires are dumb.

  • http://likeblondes.com chase

    I think a dating site can work if it stands out and has additional value and add-ons that it can charge to increase revnue.

  • dc_publius

    I really wonder whether some of these TC articles are Paid Reviews and the person writing them just paraphrases the press release without spending more than 5 minutes checking out the site. I mean come on, the site’s ‘advanced search’ doesn’t even let users search by geographical location, and there is no traffic and plenty of fake spam profiles.

  • http://www.be2.net Nick

    I have had similar comments about the geographical sarch. However, don’t forget that they are coming from Europe and ZIP codes do not exist in Europe. Things will be eventually added. I wish them all the best

  • Steve Patrick

    Please note that there are MANY complaints about not being able to cancel subscriptions in a timely fashion and getting the run-around from “Customer Service”. My personal experience supports that view and, although I’m hoping for the best, my gut tells me this is another Bre-X.

  • http://techgrits.com/?p=6 The Rush To Monetize The Internet…AKA Watching Turtles Screw : TechGrits

    […] real or go home.”  But they are still handing out money.  Just look here, here, here, here and here (I could go on, but you get the point).  The total they are handing out is […]

  • spammachine

    this site sucks. i signed up for be2.com and got 20 emails from individuals supposedly interested in my profile and thought “wow! i was never this lucky on match.com”. well guess what? 19 of them were spam. it seems the only “algorithm” here is a sawed-off shotgun marketing strategy (i.e. NO strategy).

    and they seem to randomly assign physical attributes to you for which i have still been unable to find out how to change (there’s apparently no way to do so — the UI is crap and customer service never got back to me).

    so now i too will be setting up my own “algorithmic” (oooo…) dating site as a front to con greedy gullible venture capitalists in to making me an overnight millionaire and then run off the next day to become an international playboy instead while my spamtastic site rots to the ground leaving them VCs clutching their balls.

  • suibian8

    i receive lots of messages which i have never experienced at other sites. i spent lots of time trying to know more about them. finally i find out they are all scammars. i guess B2 has special offer to africa scammars.

  • http://matchdispenser.com Online dating

    I guess the number of users online is not a factor. What’s important is that they are happy!

  • Björn Vandyck

    I have had a very bad experience with this site. 15000000 profiles they state. Only when i searched availeble profiles i only mannaged to come up with 50 or so, including 3 different countries in my search. They sent me profiles that dont exist, weird messages by people that dont exist and they make you end your membership by fax. Hardly any good info is availeble on their site, they just keep redirecting you ending up where you started. Its a scam if i ever saw one.

    • http://www.be2.de/kundenservice/ Michaela

      Dear Mr. Vandyck,

      I´m Michaela from be2. I´m sorry to hear you weren’t completely satisfied with be2. Responsive customer service is very important to us, so if you feel that there is anything be2 could do to improve your experience, please let us know. At opinion@be2.com you can explain the issues you mentioned in greater detail. We will do our best to investigate what happened, give you more guidance on how to get most out of your membership, and resolve the issue.

      Best wishes,
      Michaela

  • http://b2 Karon

    This site is scary..I was asked by someone I had not even met to give him money….$2500.00..b2 sends profiles that are not filled out..so you do not really have any info at all except their hair colour,eye colour and their height?….What the heck is going on here?

  • Col

    My 80 year old father joined this site, inadvertently. I found out about this when I saw a $235 deduction from his credit card, paid to Be2. I have his permission to monitor his spending and accounts. He assured me he had no recollection of joining Be2 and certainly no recollection of agreeing to pay them such a large amount of money.

    He has sent messages to the customer services email and I have sent one. Both emails have requested his registration be cancelled and money refunded. Nothing heard from Be2.

    There is something badly wrong with that sort of “customer service”. I suggest anyone caught in this situation do what I’m now doing and that is to have your bank cancel the credit card. It seems that is the only safe option.

  • http://www.be2.com Emma Jones

    Dear Col
    I write from be2 customer services.
    I am confident that if it has not already happened, you and your father’s e-mail will be answered. We have had a large number of e-mails this week and there may have been a slight delay in getting back to you. We aim to reply to all mails, at the latest, within 12 hours of receipt.
    Further, any direct instruction to cancel or to delete personal information will be acted on immediately.
    Please, if you have not had an adequate response already, write to me direct at opinion@be2.com.
    Emma Jones
    be2 customer services.

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