Helping couples to stay happy, connected and in love is what HowAboutWe for Couples is all about. Each month, members receive a DateBook with beautifully presented, one-of-a-kind dates specifically curated for its users. Couples just have to select one of the romantic local experiences and the service will take care of everything. The newly launched service is HowAboutWe’s second product. The first is a more traditional dating site they launched in 2010 in which users connect offine based on “How about we…” date ideas. The date remains the common thread between the two core products.
“The most important thing couples can do to continuously enrich their relationships is to have wonderful experiences together,” said Brian Schechter, co-founder of HowAboutWe. “We decided that, by focusing on experiences for two, we could make the HowAboutWe concept work both for people in relationships and for people looking for relationships,” he continued.
For the month of October, the company provides ten different dates to enjoy, from a nice hike in Harriman State Park with pickup in New York to a private 3-course brunch at Kin Shop with Top Chef Harold Dieterle. The dates are accessible only to members. To join couples pay an $80 monthly subscription, which they can apply to the first date they book each month. For the price of membership couples can access dates, such as a Korean food cooking class, or they can spend a little more money if they want to try something special.
The subscription helps differentiate the site from deals services, such as Groupon. Members-only experiences tend to be more attractive to business owners compared to one-off buying models. So far, 24,000 users have already taken part in the private alpha testing of the new product with an impressive retention rate for members of 80 percent month over month.
Finding new deals every month will be hard for the team. Each monthly DateBook comes with a few words from Michelle Dozois, HowAboutWe’s editor, because the company considers its dates as content just like any other content website would. “These are incredible experiences that you can’t get anywhere else. We work closely with New York’s smartest life-style curators and with top-tier vendors to craft the dates,” Schechter said.
Adding a product for couples to their existing dating site is an innovative next step for the company. The dating product adds close to 2,000 new users a day and has seen over 100% year over year revenue growth. And yet, it faces — like all dating sites — the problem that once its members are satisfied, they leave. According to Schechter, HowAboutWe now wants to provide different products for all kind of people, already in love or looking for a partner — “we wanted to overcome the core paradox of traditional online dating businesses: when you succeed, your customer no longer needs you. Our couples product is partly a solution to churn.”
HowAboutWe has raised $18.5 million so far. RRE led the $3.2 million Series A round, Khosla Ventures led the $15 million Series B round. Other investors include Josh Kushner at Thrive, Founder Collective, LaunchTime, FF Venture Capital, High Line, NYC Seed and MHS Capital.
The new service for couples is currently available in New York City, with plans to expand in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC and more in 2013. TechCrunch readers can skip the waitlist when they sign up here for the newly launched public version of the couples experience.