UT SAN DIEGO - Jan 26 - Online dating has a reputation for failing but the odds are improving with new startups entering the market, such as SingldOut, Wyldfire and Neqtr. SingldOut, a service that uses LinkedIn and DNA to predict matches, raised $600K last year. Wyldfire, an app that lets the women vet and pick which men are allowed into their dating community, just raised $450K. "It's very inspirational to see all these newcomers, because we haven't had enough innovation in this industry," said Mark Brooks, an online dating analyst and consultant. The matchmaking industry has been behind the technology curve for years, he said. "People like Internet dating, because it gives them more options and lets them get the tough questions out of the way up front." The market is full. "It’s a very sexy business", said Brooks. "Singldout is interesting because of the LinkedIn login...not so much the DNA, because that's been done before and it failed because it was too expensive," he said. "Wyldfire probably has the most promise because it gets at the authentication and validation that's currently missing from most sites. Women are pretty good at weeding out the creeps. I like Neqtr because of the donation element. They're getting people at their point of passion, which is helping people, and I think this is a very good matchmaking criteria. I think it will be streamlined, and they won't need quite so many people to grow," said Mark Brooks.
by Katherine P. Harvey
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