By Deborah Schoeneman
Nov. 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, after Alexandra Amin, an assistant at Warner Brothers, split up with a representative she was in fact dating for a year, her friend informed her about a unique, free, female-friendly social network application that allows women anonymously review men whom are their Facebook buddies.
“She ended up being like, ‘He’s so crazy, you really need to rate him on Lulu, ’ ” said Ms. Amin, 29, whom lives in l. A. Ms. Amin offered the ex hashtags including #NeverSleepsOver and #FriendZone. He scored a 6.9 away from 10, which, she admitted, ended up being “lower than he really deserves. ”
On Lulu, ladies can rate guys in categories — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, buddy or relative — having a multiple-choice quiz. Females, their sex confirmed by their Facebook logins, include hashtags that are pink a man’s profile which www.mailorderbrides.us/russian-bride/ range from the nice (#KinkyInTheRightWays) towards the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) into the unsightly (#PornEducated). The hashtags are accustomed to determine a rating created by Lulu, which range from 1 to 10, that appears under the man’s profile image. (The company’s spokeswoman declined to spell out the ranks algorithm. ) Guys can add on hashtags, which come in blue, however these aren’t factored within their overall rating.
As it had been started this past year by Alexandra Chong, that has a legislation level through the London class of Economics, the service has supplied a kind of “Take Back the Internet” moment for young ladies who attended of age in a time of revenge porn and anonymous, possibly ominous suitors. “The thing that drew us to Lulu had been that dating without having a guide may be the scariest thing you are able to do, ” said Erin Foster, 31, an actress and author. “Meeting somebody out in the whole world whenever you’re maybe maybe not at school or don’t work with one another or have actually shared friends — you have got no idea just what you’re getting into. ”
Ms. Chong, 32, a member that is former of Jamaica Fed Cup tennis group, is currently relocating Lulu from London to New York, where she stated the viewers for her software had grown 600 % within the last few half a year, based on the analytics provider Mixpanel. “The trendsetting capital for ladies is ny and that is where we must be, ” she stated recently.
Sewell Robinson, 24, whom lives within the East Village and works well with a marketing agency, estimated that 70 percent of her friends that are female Lulu; she’s reviewed 10 males regarding the app, some generously. “I have written a reviews that are few promote man friends, ” Ms. Robinson stated. “If a random woman fulfills them in a club and it is significantly interested, i’d like them to own a beneficial rep on Lulu. ”
But she’s got additionally panned guys, in a spirit that is sisterly. “I think often girls feel like they don’t have that much energy when you look at the hookup world, ” Ms. Robinson stated, “but this provides them one thing to bond over, and you may provide advice to a woman you’ve never ever met before. ” accordingly enough, the software ended up being introduced in sororities, which representatives for the ongoing company continue steadily to see. “Sororities are a well established network of girls who’re discussing relationships, and word spreads quickly, ” Ms. Chong stated. “We changed this product a great deal along with their assistance. ” (She stated that one fourth of most university women now utilize Lulu, based on Mixpanel. )
Ms. Chong by herself never belonged up to a sorority; she went to Florida Global University for a tennis scholarship and after legislation school struggled to obtain Upstream, a big marketing firm that is mobile. She credited her entrepreneurialism in part to her Canadian mom, whoever family members helped begin the Calgary Stampede, the summertime rodeo, along with her Chinese-Jamaican dad, whom she stated came to be poor but won a lottery and utilized the windfall to begin a tourism company.
She got the theory for Lulu throughout a boozy brunch with feminine buddies the afternoon after a embarrassing valentine’s day setup. “We were all stories that are sharing guys, relationships and sex, ” Ms. Chong stated. “There had been rips and laughter. ” She figured ladies needed a focused s.e. For dating — a “Guygle. ”
“once you Google a man, you don’t need to know he wrote a paper about in college, ” Ms. Chong said if he voted Republican or what. “You wish to know if mothers like him. Does he have manners that are good? Is he sweet? ”
Ms. Chong founded Lulu with a pal, Alison Schwartz, an assistant that is former the literary representative Amanda Urban, referred to as Binky. Final February, they secured $2.5 million in funding from individuals including Yuri Milner, a very early investor in Twitter, and Hosain Rahman, a founder of Jawbone.
Ms. Schwartz, 35, is Lulu’s editorial director. She stated she drew from Cosmopolitan and Glamour mags to create the app’s supportive sound. “Our goal ended up being always to seem like exactly exactly how women that are young to their particular friends, ” she said.
They presently employ about 30 individuals while having signed an eight-year rent for the 5,500-square-foot natural room in Chelsea, where they want to move the organization year that is early next.
Ms. Chong no further has need certainly to be a dynamic Lulu individual; this woman is shopping for flats downtown along with her boyfriend, Jack Brockway, 33, a professional professional photographer who is the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, and also the sibling of Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet’s husband that is new.
Ms. Chong and Mr. Brockway came across final springtime on Maui at a kite-surfing and networking event where she was providing a lecture in which he had been shooting a promo video. That they had a brief make-out session and went their split methods.