The Changing Face of Online Dating: Teleport Uses AI To Bring Quality to the Search
Category Machine Learning Sunday - May 21 2023, 16:45 UTC - 9 months ago Teleport, a new premium membership-based dating app, uses AI to match users with three optimized matches per week and will cost users $111 a month. The dating-app market has tripled since 2015, and Teleport seeks to take a chunk of it by focusing on quality instead of quantity in the search. People in upper-income brackets, men and those aged at least 30 are the likeliest to pay for the service.
Sunday - May 21 2023, 16:45 UTC - 9 months ago
Teleport, a new premium membership-based dating app, uses AI to match users with three optimized matches per week and will cost users $111 a month. The dating-app market has tripled since 2015, and Teleport seeks to take a chunk of it by focusing on quality instead of quantity in the search. People in upper-income brackets, men and those aged at least 30 are the likeliest to pay for the service.
A new digital matchmaker in town promises to offer less, not more, in the online dating swipescape and will charge users $111 monthly for it. Its 2023 market proposition? Artificial intelligence, of course. Under a premium membership-based model, Teleport aims to stoke romance and take a chuck of the $4.6 billion dating app market, using an AI matchmaker that learns from a user's every activity—including which of five daily profiles they view, to whom they send messages and feedback given about dates they go on. They'll be provided three optimized matches per week, but be able to message with only one.
"Thinking back to my experiences—just the number of people that you match with, you maybe talk to 10 of them, you maybe go on two dates," says Bruna Petrillo, the director of memberships at Teleport. "It's really not designed for meeting a person. It's not designed for actual success. It's designed for this paradox of choice." .
As for the price point, founder Chad Goodman, a dating-app veteran who previously launched the dating apps Lucid and Firstdate, stresses that paying for the product weeds out those who are serious about connection from those who aren't, and it holds the company accountable. "We exist to find you your person," he says.
The dating-app market has nearly tripled from 2015 to 2021, according to the Business of Apps, with an active user base of 323 million. Just over one in three people on dating apps ever paid to use a service, according to a survey by Pew Research Center published in February. People in upper-income brackets are more likely to pay for apps than their lower-income counterparts; men and those aged at least 30 are also likelier to pay. Category behemoth Match Group Inc. reported that 16.1 million users had paid for a subscription, an on-demand purchase or both in 2022, roughly on par with the previous year, across its portfolio of brands including Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid, Plenty Of Fish and its flagship, Match.
Teleport's membership will be capped at 5,000 paid members when the app launches on June 1 in New York. The League, which was acquired last year by Match Group for about $30 million and positions itself as the dating app for "academically elite" people (as in Ivy League), tried a similarly capped, invite-only strategy when it first debuted in 2014. It now offers a free entry-level tier in which "guests" get a more limited user experience.
Teleport has raised $6 million from Dragonfly Capitol Partners, Buckley Ventures and other investors over two rounds and plans to expand the service to Los Angeles and Miami, as well as establish additional membership tiers that offer one-on-one coaching. (Goodman declined to say how much those tiers might cost.) .
A group of 44 founding members is allowed to refer friends and acquaintances for potential membership, building a "collective" of people across gender identities and sexual orientations. The app's limits on the dating pool, as well as on the number of profiles served daily, is meant to encourage engagement rather than mindless swiping. That swiping habit, while instantly recognizable from the dating-app era, is actually detrimental to finding true connection, Goodman says.
"We're not trying to become the next Tinder," he says. "We want to bring quality back to the search." .