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Successful Dating Startups in 2018

One of the basic needs of every person is to be in a romantic relationship. This fact explains the number of people who are using online dating apps these days. Singles want to find their perfect matches, and they are even ready to pay for this. Giant dating apps, such as Badoo, Tinder, or OkCupid, make huge profits, because they have managed to develop engaging services. Although competition is high, new dating apps keep popping up. They are niche-oriented, and it turns out the only way for a dating startup to compete with the mainstream dates is to have its particular audience.

The dating app industry is thriving, as there is a huge demand. However, people’s preferences change with the times. They get bored with the design or the idea of their favorite apps and start looking for something fresh and unique. Each of the popular apps once hooked its users with some feature that was extremely appealing. Whether it was the simplicity of decision-making or some particular target audience, such as single Russian women. Here are 5 success stories of the still popular dating apps to inspire young startups.


Tinder has been around for 6 years already. Many people like to say that it changed the way millennials date and promoted the so-called hook-up culture. The initial target audience was university students. The first users were the students of the University of Arizona. It quickly spread to other campuses and even further. The swipe feature, a quality design, and the location-based search contributed to Tinder’s addictivity.


The creators of Hinge developed it as an alternative to Tinder. The app was meant for people who are tired of swiping and look not for a hookup but for a relationship. Hinge call themselves “the relationship app”. To prevent people from thoughtless wiping, the app handpicks potential matches analyzing their Facebook friends’ friends and offers its users only those people with whom they are likely to meet IRL. Initially, a list of matches appeared only once a day, but later the app started to provide it throughout the day. Being launched in 2013, today, the app is available in the USA, UK, Canada, India, and Australia. The number of users is not disclosed, but the number of dates set up per month is 100,000.


It’s quite frustrating to realize that people look for different things on a mainstream dating app. For example, when a person looks for a serious relationship and is matched with those who are into a one-night stand, and vice versa. So, Pure was conceived as a hookup app. Three main features of this app: anonymity, no endless chats, no profiles. You want to hook up with someone, you specify time and location, and wait for a reply. The app gained 1 million users over a year. Since it works on a subscription model, it quickly generated ROI.


This app somehow resembles Tinder, but it at the same time it’s a kind of social network. Apart from the swiping principle, there are microblogs, editorial content, likes, etc. Her, the Lesbian App, is a dating app for lesbian, bi-sexual, and queer women. It’s not only a dating app, it’s an online community of lesbian and pansexual women that want to find romantic relationships of friendships.


This is a vivid example of niche dating apps. Bristlr started off as a joke but turned out to be a success. This is an app for those with beards and those who like facial hair. Since a lot of women like bearded men, and a lot of men like to wear beards, the app quickly became popular in more than 100 cities around the world. It’s a very simple app, but the original idea behind it ensures its success.

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