Smartdate secures €2m so you can date friends of your Facebook friends

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[France] Paris based dating service Smartdate has raised €1.7 million with European VC 360 Capital Partners.

Smartdate, which previously secured Angel investment from four international Business Angels for a total of €300,000, was founded by Fabrice Le Parc, who also launched be2.com in France and Benelux in 2006-07. This €2 million total amount of seed funding (one of the largest in France lately and one of the largest for a dating site) will be mainly used to market the service as they have an objective of one million users before the end of the year.

Smartdate basically wants to use Facebook Friends as a criteria for your dating search. Using Facebook Connect to log in to Smartdate, you search for single people among friends of your friends. The search called “Smartsearch” will be then influenced by the community (a now classical “others who liked the same profiles as you also liked the following…”). Smartdate has today launched its Alpha version, already available in 6 European languages (French, English, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch). Smartdate wants you to “pay as you go” meaning that you’ll pay only for what you’ll use.

Smartdate is not the first trying to use Facebook to change the way people date online. Zoosk is one of them, with a slightly different approach as you need to install the Zoosk App within your Facebook account (although there is the potential Facebook may delete app notifications, this business could have some problems). If the idea of dating friends of my friends is simple and good, the question that remains is if it will be enough to create an audience, especially with a huge market leader such as Meetic which could easily integrate some features with Facebook.

  • http://bootstrappy.com chrisco

    Just goes to show you that dating (and dating apps) will never die :)

  • Richard

    You sure, have you seen the info that came out of Hitwise yesterday?

    http://paidcontent.org/article/419-the-online-dating-recession/

  • Stefan

    Yes online dating is full of the ‘old’ guard that are reluctant to change face the new social paradigm. People are fleeing and it is evident. This is why folks like Smartdate and Zoosk have such huge potentials. They combine the modern social aspect to dating. People just expect that these days and anyone who doesn’t follow the market trend will be sure to lose share.

  • David

    Great idea. Love the simplicity of the site. What’s mind boggling is that none of the “legacy dating websites” have explored the “social dating” avenue just yet.

  • Kevin

    This looks similar to Thread in the US. Thread is a dating site that uses Facebook’s social graph to suggest potential matches. It raised $1.2 million from Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital, Founders Fund and angel investor Ron Conway.

    • http://www.cedricgiorgi.com Cedric Giorgi

      Thanks for mentionning Thread, I missed that one! It’s indeed very similar to Smartdate, at least how they integrate with Facebook.

  • Khaled

    The industry is experiencing a lot of changes – new players, new options, new models..
    Not everybody will be successful but adapting to new ways of communications and interactions (social networking, tweeting) will obviously be key. This could be very interesting to track – Zoosk and PlentyOfFish are notable successes of this new social dating trend, happy to see that a European actor is about to bring some innovation to the table as Meetic did in its time.

  • John

    Looks interesting. Seems they’re pre-filling your facebook data when filling out a profile…a major no-no.

    • Olivier

      What do you mean no-no? just checked Digg out and that’s what they do (amongst others). Thread doesn’t even let you choose what to import.
      I think it’s OK that your info is pre-ticked as long as you can untick, that’s what most apps are doing.

    • Emmanuel

      hello how are you.

  • Fernando Ardenghi

    Online Dating sites/applications can offer 2 main proposals:
    * fun dating, for flirting, for entertainment purposes, for instant gratification.
    * serious dating.

    Online Dating sites/applications can offer 3 main tools:
    * Powerful Searching Engines.
    * Recommendation Engines (mainly matching based on Self-Reported Data by personal preferences & likes and dislikes)
    * Compatibility Matching Algorithms.

    “use Facebook Friends as a criteria for your dating search”: that is only a search engine for fun dating, for flirting, for entertainment purposes, for instant gratification.

    Experience had shown serious daters never use social networking sites/applications for dating purposes.

    Regards,

    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires.
    Argentina.
    ardenghifer@gmail.com

    • Marion

      Fernando,
      You seems to be a real serious dater. I hope to see you on my smartdate’s friends ;-)

      Apparently, Smartdate is offering us a new way to find people as Zoosk or Thread. It’s just a complementary way… and it’s looks interesting.

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  • Jessie

    I totally agree with Fernando, serious daters will never go to social sites. Users are requested to paid to get full access to dating sites, it is sure that dating sites have more serious criterion on registered users, such as profile legitimacy, scam, etc. hotbutclassic21@richchats.com

    • Fernando Ardenghi

      Interested readers could see my Online Dating Blog
      “Breaking the online dating sound barrier”
      http://onlinedatingsoundbarrier.blogspot.com/

      There I try to explain the main problem in the actual Online Dating Industry for serious daters.
      There is a range convergence phenomenon between the 3 mains tools online dating sites can offer: searching by your own, Bidirectional Recommendation Engines and Compatibility Matching Methods.
      Any member receives on average 3 to 4 prospective mates as selected / recommended / compatible for dating purposes per 1,000 (one thousand) members screened in the database.
      They all 3 are performing the same for serious daters, with a high percentage of false positives.

      and the solution: the 16PF5 test or similar and a powerful matching equation to calculate similarity between prospective mates.

      The Online Dating Industry does not need a 10% improvement, a 50% improvement or a 100% improvement. It does need “a 100 times better improvement”

      Regards,

      Fernando Ardenghi.
      Buenos Aires.
      Argentina.
      ardenghifer@gmail.com

  • Jean

    There are few other new website using Facebook to attract members: Thread.com for dating or Sofamous.com for flirting

    Smartdate.com looks pretty too.

  • http://www.swiftapplications.com mike

    well it looks interesting as the dating is commonly getting popular.

  • http://www.smartdate.com Fabrice Le Parc

    Thanks for the comments and to Cédric for speaking about us. Dating products are my passion and I’m happy to join the discussion.

    Kevin, we’re actually featuring a “Friends of Friends” functionality that is similar to what Thread is offering, but beyond that we’re a “full-on” dating site.
    Meaning the real distinction is that Smartdate leverages Facebook because more and more of typical dating users are on Facebook, but does not just aim to be an add-on to Facebook.

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