Grouper, The Evolution of Online Dating

Did you know dating websites like OKCupid, How About We, and Match.com all say January is their busiest month, with Match.com seeing an increase of 55 percent in memberships on January 2nd alone?

Looks like all the single ladies (and men!) are resolving to meet a special someone in 2013.

Well, as a 25 year-old with several single friends, I can tell you right now-online dating still has a bit of stigma attached to it. People scoff, snort and all-around act semi offended when online dating is suggested. Not sure why though, I know couples who have met online and are married or on their way to it.

It's definitely different, but not that strange.

Perhaps the problem isn't in online dating itself, but in the approach.

You're suppose to actively look for someone who is compatible with you online, and then meet in person? It's a bit jarring and calculating-not warm and romantic.

Cue Grouper.

The new dating site...I mean, 'social club' acts as a dating liason between two interested parties (not people). Let me explain.

You sign up via Facebook, Grouper scans your profile and gets back to you when they find a match. They pick the spot that you'll meet at and the $20 each person pays to meet up, covers the first round of drinks (and acts as a guarantee both people will show up).

At this point you may be asking 'what's so special with that? I'm paying them to be lazy?' but here's the kicker, each person brings two friends along on the date (for a total of six, and each person pays $20) and now you've got yourself a Grouper!

Why has no one thought of this person!?!?!?

Everyone knows group dates are easier because you have wingmen (and women) picking up the slack. And at worst, you have a terrible date with your two best gal pals so you have an awesome story. Best case scenario, you fall in love with one of your dates, (like Grouper CEO Michael Waxman) and begin a budding relationship. If you don't hit it off romantically with your dates but still like them, Bam! You have a new set of friends!

The company claims to 'solve really hard problems.' I first laughed when I read 'PROBLEMS NO ONE HAS EVER SOLVED,' but they're absolutely right.

"Getting people together offline is a hard problem. Matching algorithms, logistics optimizations, customer service AI, a real-time CRM. Web scale is boring. Offline scale is uncharted terrain."

The concept is fascinating and can't wait to see how it evolves.

If you've resolved to find love or meet new people in 2013, now's the time to do it-with Grouper.

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Tags: chicago, dating, fun, singles

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