Littlehint

Littlehint tries to find your true love through DNA and matchmakers

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Littlehint is a new startup which aims to take your Facebook friends and bring in the ones who actually want to potentially go on a date, along with the ones who might help you find one. It sucks in your network via Facebook Connect and asks you to fill out your profile. The difference however is that in the future they plan to offer the ability to submit your DNA as well. Think 23andme for dating.

The founders are Anju Rupal, CEO, who has been involved in various startups as an investor at board level, and Bill Liao, co-founder of XING, Germany’s LinkedIn.

Littlehint is similar to Thread.com which pulls your friends into your dating network (at least those who are already on Thread). LinkedIN founder Reid Hoffman has invested in Thread to the tune of $1.2m. Littlehint is similar also to friend.ly, minus the DNA matching.

Littlehint site claims to match members based on sociological characteristics, “degrees of separation”, psychoanalytic assessment and optional DNA matching. But would those chime with your Facebook friends? Hard to say.

Rupal says the site was inspired by asian traditions and new trends in social networking, building a network that serves the “natural matchmaker” in all of us and using friends to connect in a trusted network. So the question section, which finds out if you are a matchmaker or not, is really the core of the service.

You can also fill out your profile, but to be honest the data points are so scant that I doubt they’d be able to “match individuals on several factors, including level of attraction, type of interest, and their smell.”

That latter part is down to the startup’s plans to start taking DNA data from members and match them accordingly. It is not obvious at all from the site but I’m told you are supposed to enter your Genepartner.com ID for them to match you with someone. Obviously there is a ‘network effect’ problem here, as in “What’s the point of doing a DNA test if no one else has?”. Perhaps they need littlehint branded DNA kits or something.

Thus, this feels like a match-making service that might appear in the film Gattaca, or perhaps the novel Brave New World. “Hello there beautiful, are you an Alpha Gamma? You are? Let’s get it on!”

The site says they will “inform our singles when a match is found in traveling distance.” As in, perhaps, “Dear Sir, your Alpha Theta match is 2.5 miles away.” Arousing stuff.

Indeed, the founders say that the basic idea is that the more genetically compatible two people are, the more likely they are to have a long-lasting and successful relationship. According to this research has shown that “the sex lives of genetically compatible partners are more satisfying than average. Additionally, fertility rates are higher in genetically compatible couples and they have healthier children.” Make of that what you will.

But the site will have another business model. A revenue stream will come from gifts. Single members will be able to send each other a “wooing gift” and have the option to say thank-you to their matchmaker. This sounds fine, and virtual goods are a proven business model. Just look at Flirtomatic. But it requires a payment method and none exists on LittleHint just yet. An iphone and Android app is in the making.

Personally I can see some potential but I can’t see the execution yet.

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