If existing dating websites aren’t working for you (or you’re too busy to try them out), you can get help from paid matchmakers and dating coaches on the just-launched service Wednesday Night.
According to the startup, users connect their Facebook accounts and are then given three recommendations. (You can see a mock-up of a recommendation email below.) If they’re interested in dating one of them, they then pay $50 and are set up with a date on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. (or occasionally Thursday). They’re also connected with a dating coach who can provide advice via email or text.
The website comes from the team of Jared Tame and Teng Siong Ong who are already working on two other dating services — Flock and CupidWithFriends. (They sold their previous startup, Y Combiantor-backed GraffitiGEO, to Loopt.) When Tame emailed me to tell me about Wednesday Night, I asked why the pair decided to launch yet another dating site, and he said:
Wednesday Night is something that really excites us and it appeals to a lot of people we’ve spoken to who are too busy for online dating. Women want to be matchmakers and give guys advice on how to talk to girls, dress, behave, etc; many guys need help and don’t want to do all the back-and-forth messaging and setting up a profile.
Tame’s response touches on one of the issues facing any dating website — managing the balance between guys and girls. That seems like a particular danger given Wednesday Night’s concept, which might attract a lot of socially awkward guys but not as many women. The Wednesday Night website tries to address this, arguing that the service isn’t just for men: “We understand the pain exists for women on dating sites where they’re approached by lots of guys and receive too many messages.” Tame added that matchmakers can also look for dates outside the Wednesday Night network, and if they agree, they automatically become part of the database.
Still, I’m guessing that it will be mostly guys who are actually paying for the service. Does that create a weird dynamic? Well, I’d argue that most dating sites have a slightly skewed dating dynamic, and Tame argued that by paying for the drinks upfront, you avoid “awkward ‘who pays’ or ‘let’s wait while I close my tab’ situations.” (Of course, part of the fee is also going towards Wednesday Night and its matchmakers/coaches.)
As for why the dates take place on Wednesday and Thursday night, Tame said it means they won’t compete with weekend plans. Plus, if it’s a good date you can schedule a follow-up for the weekend, and if it isn’t, the mid-week timing means there’s an easy excuse to end the date fairly quickly.
I also asked whether this is really a scalable tech business, and Tame replied that Wednesday Night has built software that “helps matchmakers quickly profile a user based on their Facebook account, schedule dates, as well as search for potential matches.” He also said that there’s a dashboard that helps matchmakers track their performance — the ones that get more positive reviews get paid a higher commission.
If you’re interested in trying out the site, TechCrunch readers can get a $10 credit by signing up here.