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 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, 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 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.

  • Vineet

    This concept has always made money initially if you look at all the successful statups – but then with volume its tough to sustain the authenticity of the profiles etc…

  • Ben

    This is a dating website? Or just another social networking site? On their signup page, they ask if you are single or taken. I hate these dating websites that allow “taken” people to join. They turn into sites full of spam and swingers, kind of like AdultFriendFinder. Technically, you can be married and join any dating website that you want. It’s not like it’s usually verified if you are single or not. But littlehint gives an open invitation to join if you are taken. Screw that!

    • Dave Stone

      Hi Ben—

      One of the main ways we match is degrees of separation… your friends, friends, friends etc. Because of that it’s very much about bringing your friends onto the site, both single & taken.

      Think of a dinner party. Your single, over dinner you ask one of your friends (who’s taken) if they know anyone who might be a good match. We’re trying to be that online.

      If someone signs up as “taken”, we don’t match them.

      You’re right: it’s hard to verify if you’re single or not. To be matched on you need to surrond yourself with friends. You’d have to be lying to a lot of people if that weren’t true.

      Any questions, concerns, feedback, abuse, etc… I’m on & always listening.


    • http://howmenthink jason


    • http://howmenthink jason

      Sounds like Ben had a girlfriend/wife cheat on him?

  • Bob

    Is there some science around using DNA for dating? Like “opposites attract”? Or “like people attract”?

    Because if it’s the latter, then the theory is that you’re a good match for your brother or sister or cousin.

  • Fernando Ardenghi

    DNA matching methods are a complete scam, a hoax.

    Basisnote, GenePartner, ScientificMatch and other proposals offering DNA matching are based on the T_shirt Experiment that only proved:
    normally cycling women (not pregnant and not taking contraceptive pills) are (temporarily) attracted by the perspiration scent of clothes used by men with a Major Histocompatibility Complex MHC more dissimilar to theirs,
    and not proved: women attracted by those men for long term mating with commitment.

    Two Scientific Papers debunk their claims.
    1) “Human oestrus” Gangestad & Thornhill (2008)
    “Only short-term but not long-term partner preferences tend to vary with the menstrual cycle”

    2) “Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?” Alvergne & Lummaa (2009)
    “.. whereas normally cycling women express a preference for MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) dissimilarity in mates, pill users prefer odours of MHC-SIMILAR men, indicating that pill use might eliminate adaptive preferences for genetic dissimilarity.”
    “Recently, Roberts et al. attempted to eliminate these potential confounds by adopting a within-subject design in which women’s mate preferences were assessed before and after they began taking the pill. Women starting the pill showed a significant preference shift towards MHC SIMILARITY compared with three months before the pill was taken, a shift that was not observed in the control group of normally cycling women.”

    Latest Research in Theories of Romantic Relationships Development outlines: compatibility is all about a high level on personality* similarity* between prospective mates for long term mating with commitment.

    *personality measured with a normative test.
    *similarity: there are differents ways to calculate similarity, it depends on how mathematically is defined.


    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires.

    “Breaking the online dating sound barrier”

  • Dave Stone

    Hi Fernando—

    “not proved: women attracted by those men for long term mating with commitment.”, absolutely correct—in fact, I’d go even further… it doesn’t match on compatibility…

    It’s just one aspect of compatibility. If we sold that as a stand alone, we’d be selling a lie— fortunately that isn’t the case. Coupled with our psychoanalytic assessment it has value. It’s also worth noting that the DNA testing is an optional extra… if you don’t want to partake, don’t.

    Feel free to email me feedback and/or thoughts to

    • Fernando Ardenghi

      “Coupled with our psychoanalytic assessment it has value” ???

      Do you have any Scientific Paper clearly showing Littlehint’s matching algorithm can match prospective partners who will have more stable and satisfying relationships with low divorce rates than couples matched by chance, astrological destiny, personal preferences, searching on one’s own, or other technique as the control group?

      How did you find a control group?

      • Dave Stone

        Hi Fernando—

        One (optional) part of our matching algorithm is DNA based, the science behind that is here

      • Fernando Ardenghi

        Unfortunately it seems you do not understand that 2 (Two) NEW and FRESH Scientific Papers (2008 – 2009) had debunked the T_shirt Experiment (its science is from 1995).
        1) “Human oestrus” Gangestad & Thornhill (2008)
        2) “Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?” Alvergne & Lummaa (2009)

        DNA matching methods are a complete scam, a hoax.

      • Dave Stone

        Dude—what’s with the aggression? I said I’d research the papers you mentioned here & in my reply to your email.

        Still working on your 16PF personality test based matching?

  • Dave Stone

    p.s. I will read through the papers you link to :)

  • weopia

    Relationships seem to be based more on compatibility and personality matches.

    • Dave Stone

      It’s one aspect, yup—that’s what our assessment is based around :) if you want anymore info.

  • Anju Rupal

    The DNA matchmaking is a product and a team we like and are exploring how to integrate this into our system. It’s there and finally your choice if you wish to try it but in no way stops us from matching you. Our littlehint questionnaire determines sociological characteristics which tells us what type of personality you have, this we use to match our singles and offer these results to EVERYONE who are interested in learning about their traits.

    We do want to challenge the status quo of online dating/matchmaking

    And the way we’re doing this is by putting up a simple, spam free site where all our friends feel comfortable, and offering tools so they can reach a wider network.

    We all have friends. can with little effort your end try and find a suitable match for them.

    We don’t have dead/make-believe profiles, because we’re building a network of friends.

    Last but not least when a match is found you’ll be able to communicate with each other, there’s none of this “please pay now”.

    Most importantly, we do all the work and save you time and notify you when a match is found.

    And if all goes well, you can offer a gift to your matchmaker or date, this is of course your choice.

    • Fernando Ardenghi

      “Our littlehint questionnaire determines sociological characteristics which tells us what type of personality you have, this we use to match our singles and offer these results to EVERYONE who are interested in learning about their traits.”

      I had tried to sign in / sign up to do LittleHint’s assessment but I cannot from Argentina (using the latest version of Opera and Firefox browsers).

      Who designed / constructed it?
      Who independently validated, certified that assessment?
      Does it meet the IRT (Item Response Theory) standards?
      Who is exactly Brian Wiggit (Psychologist)?
      Which are his credentials?
      I goggled him and he only appears in 1 page, at LittleHint.


      Fernando Ardenghi.
      Buenos Aires.

      • Dave Stone

        Dude—what’s with the aggression? I said I’d research the papers you mentioned here & in my reply to your email.

        Still working on your 16PF personality test based matching?

  • Anju Rupal

    Hi Farnando,

    Thx for pointing out our mistake, the assessment was set up and worked on by our resident psychologist Dr Scotti Veale.

  • Fernando Ardenghi

    Hi Anju:
    I had checked LittleHint’s assessment and it is only an ipsative (self-descriptive) questionnaire (25 questions), not a normative one, so you cannot measure personality traits.
    Question 21 asks:
    I most often choose a partner based on:
    – Physical attraction.
    – Having fun.
    – Background similarities.
    – Feeling needed by my partner.
    – Mutual trust.

    I had goggled:
    “Scotti Veale” + abstract
    “Scotti Veale” filetype:pdf
    to check her credentials and there is no scientific paper/publication by her.

    She is really an unknow in the Online Dating Industry.

    • Scottiveale


      @font-face {
      font-family: “Times New Roman”;
      }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1;I have not worked with Sense2Love
      since 2008. Sense2Love (now called “Littlehints”) was originally based on
      personality type matching strategies. I did not then (and have not since)
      create any survey that attempted to match individuals based on their DNA. Furthermore,
      my original survey and matching methodology examined five separate love senses
      (hence the original name “Sense2Love”). The original Love Senses category
      responses (Situational Sense, Expression Sense, Nurturing Sense, Social Sense,
      and Evaluation Sense: SENSE) were calculated and matched based on computerized
      criteria that suggested possible compatibility.

      I did not have any influence in
      how the survey or matching concept may have changed when Sence2Love became
      “Littlehints,” which was after I left the company. I encourage you to Google my
      name again.  You will easily find
      references to my original, published dissertation research, which is on file
      and available through UMI in Ann Arbor.

      Ms. Scotti Veale, PH.D.

  • Criminal Background Checks

    This sounds like a great idea to me, and I don’t see why it couldn’t work.

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