Dating Ring: Personable & Experienced Matchmakers Become Your BFFs in Online Dating
Founded in by Emma Tessler and Lauren Kay, Dating Ring is a Accuracy & Zero Stress: The Value of Personalizing the Process. LAUREN KAY: “And I was like, 'Oh, wow, what great advice.' But I didn't have a -What was the Dating Ring's valuation cap? -What happened. To the Dating Ring Community: After an amazing five years of getting the chance to set up members, Dating Ring shut its doors on August 31, We set out to change the a good time! xo,. Lauren, Emma, Shearly, and the Dating Ring team.
Giant waste of time, kept saying he'd invest and never did. And then there's this one. I heard all the time when I was pitching my own company, Gimlet Media, the producer of this podcast. You can hear all about it in Season 1 of Startup.
And the A pass is when an investor says I'm not investing now but come back and talk to me when you're doing your Series A. Series A is what they call the next round of fundraising after you raise your first initial seed round.
A lot of companies don't even get to a Series A, they fail before that. And so Lauren had the same feeling I did when I first heard that line. And he just like he is he's just we're just a little too early for him. You just got the A pass. And one of the more frustrating things to Lauren about all this rejection was that it felt sort of self-fulfilling. A lot of the stuff investors claimed to want to see was stuff that Lauren could only build if she had money.
Dating Ring 3: Another Side Of The Story (REBROADCAST)
Take for example this exchange between Emma and Lauren and the investor Somak Chattopadhyay. Who's overseeing marketing user acquisition analytics? Do you all own a piece of that or is there someone dedicated to that function? Somak is asking about marketing. Who's going to be doing it for Dating Ring. And Lauren explains that there's a person she's planning to bring on board, a friend of hers from college. And this leads to a somewhat revealing misunderstanding.
She's looking at your data like your usage data and doing analytics, like doing statistical analysis stuff like that or Yea, she probably will be.
I mean she could probably do anything. Right now what is she going to be doing? This director of marketing—Dating Ring was not able to bring her on board because they didn't have enough money. Some matchmakers and a marketing person to help them acquire new users. And they had raised less than half that.
Before they slid off the wave. And what made all this worse was that the shift was so sudden and seemingly so arbitrary. In those first couple of days of fundraising investors had barely asked any questions at all. They just wrote the checks.
But then after everything flipped there were no checks just lots of hard questions and often Lauren couldn't even get to a meeting.
She got rejected before the meeting even happened, over email. For Lauren it was hard not to wonder why. You're in high school. And everyone's talking about you behind your back because all the investors talk and you don't know why anyone is saying no.
And you don't know what they think of you. And why they don't like you. And you just start thinking all of the worst things about why it might be. I must be doing this wrong, I'm not confident enough or I'm not good at pitching my company. And then you start thinking "no one's ever going to like us or give us money.
Lauren Kay — YC Female Founder Stories
All this rejection— I know from personal experience—it can send you into this downward spiral. Pitching after all is all about confidence. And the more I would doubt myself or my idea or my pitching skills, the less confident I would appear and the more desperate.
Investors like people everywhere can smell desperation. But amidst all those anxieties that all startup founders feel, Lauren had a question that was more specific to her. A thought she had dismissed up until then. And once that question gets in your head it's very hard to ignore. Coming up we ponder that question and discover how risky just pondering that question can feel. And I'm Lisa Chow.
And let's start the second half of this show with this. I have struggled with writing this blog post for months. Unless I have an absolutely perfect indefensible business—which I do not—I'm easily written off as someone blaming my failures on my gender. This is Lauren reading a blog post she wrote after weeks of unsuccessful fundraising.
Dating Ring 3: Another Side Of The Story (REBROADCAST) by StartUp from Gimlet Media
One investor took me to lunch said he wasn't interested in investing and wanted to test the product out by going on a date with me.
Another investor introduced me to a group of fellow investors as the beautiful CEO who has two other beautiful co-founders. Another investor met with my CTO, held off on investing, and then asked one of our matchmakers if he could be set up with our CTO or someone like her. For months Lauren had been struggling with this question—Am I failing to raise money because I'm a woman?
It was called Secret and it had essentially become a Silicon Valley gossip site. People posted anonymously on all sorts of things.
How much money companies were making; who had hooked up with whom. And there were a lot of threads about fundraising specifically women and fundraising. And there were comments. Women are baby machines. That one had likes. And then there's this one, which to read I have to use the F-word. Lauren told me she struggled with how to write the post in part because blatant sexism wasn't the worst of it.
A lot of the sexism was harder to pin down. There was this idea called pattern matching—it comes from computer science. But the way people use it in this context, is this way: When investors look at successful founders they see a pattern. Most of them are men of a certain type, from a certain background. Do you look and sound like Mark Zuckerberg? And you're an investor, you don't have to invest, it's not a charity. And there is data that something like this is going on. In one study for example men and women delivered the identical pitch to a group of investors.
The men were 40 percent more likely to receive funding. Another study showed that 85 percent of venture-backed companies do not have a single woman on the executive team. And less than three percent of venture backed companies have a woman CEO.
Some felt like Lauren. We should try and point it out. Call attention to it share experiences. In fact, one of the women I talked to in this camp, the opposite of Lauren camp, was Lauren's co-founder, Emma. She remembers Lauren's blog post. Yeah, I remember reading it and I was concerned about it -- it reading like an excuse.
Even though a lot of these instances are like clearly sexist. And even though they're true. I don't think the reason we didn't raise is because we're women. And if it is because we're women, there is nothing we can do about it so it's not a helpful critique. And so I want to focus on that. But even Emma wasn't immune to the complicated emotional responses to being a woman in Silicon Valley.
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Conferenceseries organizes and electricity for iron-working, nj, mn disbursals. Solent laundry appliances at blue water cafe. Weeks were broken up by Tuesdays, when we spent most of our time at the YC office, catching up with other founders, attending group office hours and Tuesday night dinners. What is the atmosphere like at YC during those 3 months with Demo Day approaching?
It feels like finals period during college, except for 3 months straight. But it never felt competitive. YC has a "no assholes" rule and it really shows through the founders they choose. Most people are working in such different industries, and startups are at all different stages, so really, it would be hard to compete if you tried. The other founders are extremely helpful.
Even though everyone is under the same pressure to get as much done as possible on their startup, most founders would drop everything to sit with you for a few hours if you needed help on something.