By Deborah Schoeneman
Nov. 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, after Alexandra Amin, an assistant at Warner Brothers, split up with a real estate agent she was in fact dating for per year, her friend informed her about a fresh, free, female-friendly social network application that allows women anonymously review men who will be their Facebook buddies.
“She ended up being like, ‘He’s so crazy, you ought to speed him on Lulu, ’ ” said Ms. Amin, 29, whom lives in l. A. Ms. Amin provided the ex hashtags including #NeverSleepsOver and #FriendZone. He scored a 6.9 away from 10, which, she admitted, had been “lower than he really deserves. ”
On Lulu, ladies can speed males in groups — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, buddy or general — by having a quiz that is multiple-choice. Ladies, their sex verified by their Facebook logins, add hashtags that are pink a man’s profile which range from the nice (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to your 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 describe the reviews algorithm. ) Guys can truly add hashtags, which can be found in blue, however these are not factored in their overall rating.
The service has provided a sort of “Take Back the Internet” moment for young women who have come of age in an era of revenge porn and anonymous, possibly ominous suitors since it was started last year by Alexandra Chong, who has a law degree from the London School of Economics. “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 some body call at the entire world whenever you’re not in school or work that is don’t each other or have actually shared buddies — you have got no clue exactly exactly what you’re getting yourself into. ”
Ms. Chong, 32, a former person in the Jamaica Fed Cup tennis group, has become relocating Lulu from London to ny, where she stated the viewers on her application had grown 600 hot russian brides per cent within the last 6 months, based on the analytics provider Mixpanel. “The trendsetting capital for ladies is New York and that’s where we must be, ” she said recently.
Sewell Robinson, 24, who lives into the East Village and works well with a marketing agency, estimated that 70 percent of her friends that are female Lulu; she’s got reviewed 10 males from the application, some generously. “I have actually written a few reviews to market man friends, ” Ms. Robinson stated. “If a random woman satisfies them in a club and it is significantly interested, i would like them to own a great rep on Lulu. ”
But she’s got additionally panned males, in a sisterly character. “I think often girls feel them one thing to bond over, and you will give advice to a woman you’ve never ever met before. Like they don’t have that much energy into the hookup world, ” Ms. Robinson stated, “but this gives” accordingly enough, the software ended up being introduced in sororities, which representatives associated with ongoing company continue steadily to check out. “Sororities are an existing community of girls who will be referring to relationships, and term spreads very quickly, ” Ms. Chong said. “We changed the merchandise a great deal making use of their assistance. ” (She said that one fourth of all university women now utilize Lulu, based on Mixpanel. )
Ms. Chong by herself never ever belonged to a sorority; she went to Florida Overseas University on a tennis scholarship and after legislation school struggled to obtain Upstream, a big mobile marketing company. She credited her entrepreneurialism in component to her Canadian mom, whoever household assisted begin the Calgary Stampede, the summer rodeo, along with her Chinese-Jamaican daddy, whom she said was created bad but won a lottery and utilized the windfall to start out a tourism business.
She got the theory for Lulu throughout a boozy brunch with female friends your day after a embarrassing valentine’s day setup. “We were all sharing stories about dudes, relationships and sex, ” Ms. Chong stated. “There had been rips and laughter. ” She determined that females required a focused internet search engine for dating — a “Guygle. ”
“once you Google some guy, you don’t wish to know if he voted Republican or exactly what he published a paper about in university, ” Ms. Chong stated. “You need to know if moms like him. Does he have good ways? 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. Last February, they secured $2.5 million in funding from individuals including Yuri Milner, a early investor in Twitter, and Hosain Rahman, a creator of Jawbone.
Ms. Schwartz, 35, is Lulu’s editorial manager. She stated she drew from Cosmopolitan and Glamour magazines to create the app’s supportive vocals. “Our objective ended up being constantly to seem like exactly exactly how women that are young to their friends, ” she said.
They presently employ about 30 people and now have finalized an eight-year rent for the 5,500-square-foot raw room in Chelsea, where they intend to go the organization year that is early next.
Ms. Chong not has need certainly to be a dynamic Lulu user; she is searching for apartments downtown with her boyfriend, Jack Brockway, 33, a professional professional photographer who’s the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, while the bro of Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet’s brand new spouse.
Ms. Chong and Mr. Brockway met last springtime on Maui at a kite-surfing and networking event where she ended up being offering a lecture in which he had been shooting a video that is promotional. They’d a make-out that is brief and went their split methods.