Beri Meric and Philipp Triebel entered Harvard Business School following careers at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Needless to say, they understood the head down, knee-deep in work mentality — the mentality that makes dating difficult.
The result was initially DateHarvard, a site focused on connecting singles with Harvard educated doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, academics and professionals. Although perfect for the Harvard Hoochies, the New York Times described it as “a highbrow take on the likes of SugarDaddie.com.” So, what they did was launch IvyDate, which is now their core platform and which helped them raise $1.45 million in Series A funding through anonymous investors who’ve previously backed Uber, Spotify and Facebook.
Anyone can register for free on the site, no matter if or where they went to school. The catch is that the IvyDate team runs users through an admissions process, creating a community that’s “as selective as the Ivy League, without being limited to the Ivy League,” as Meric states.
Once IvyDate accepts a user’s application, they’re sent five introductions per week. Once they want to start sending “thoughtful and meaningful” messages, however, that’s when a subscription fee kicks in at $30, $40, or $50 for one, two or six months of use.
Meric compares IvyDate to a college environment, describing it as a place like-minded people with similar values choose to join. By attending the same school, people are guaranteed to have one thing in common. By using IvyDate, they’ve got something in common, too. “If they made it through the membership committee, chances are the person we recommend them will be a much better match,” Meric says.
Beyond the site, IvyDate has been hosting events in their three major hubs: New York City, Boston and Los Angeles. They’re also gearing up to provide more services, ranging from a personal shopper to on-call relationship experts. “Once someone’s a member, we want to do everything we can to provide them with meaningful connections,” Meric claims, later admitting that while two users might not see sparks fly on their first date, they’re still likely to find their dates would make for a great professional contact or friend.
With close to 30,000 members, IvyDate’s what Meric calls a broad environment. “Think of it as a liberal arts college,” he says, referring to the doctors, entrepreneurs, artists, lawyers, engineers and academics who’ve all signed up to the site. The average user does, indeed, have a bachelor’s degree, although Meric claims a majority of them have graduate degrees, as well.
“We wanted to create a more collegiate environment,” Meric says. “College is looking for, ‘Does this person fit the community and will they have a positive impact?’” And so is IvyDate. So, if you’re looking for love, get ready to be put to the test. Scoring Mr. or Mrs. Right might be even harder than getting a perfect score on your LSATs.