OPW INTERVIEW - Nov 1 - Dutch Tinder rival, The Inner Circle is a direct competitor to The League. The Inner Circle started out in Europe and then branched out across USA in 2016-2017, and in September 2018 they just launched in Singapore and Australia. Last month they won the Deloitte Fast 50 award, launched a VIP membership, and rang the gong at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
To what can you attribute Inner Circle's incredible growth in the past year?
There are 2 primary drivers that helped us grow. Firstly we see a trend of people becoming Tinder Tired. They are looking for quality alternatives that provide a more colourful experience. Because of this trend we have seen many users flocking to The Inner Circle. Secondly, over the past year we expanded to cities such as Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong where we found a very good click with singles.
What makes an Inner Circle event more than just a single's mixer?
Firstly, The Inner Circle offers a close community of people on the same page in life. This starts with a social dating experience online. Where people share who they are through their profiles and can meet with others who go to the same venues or are traveling to the same destinations. Secondly, our events are unique experiences built on years of experience. We make sure to partner with venues that are unique and one of the best in their city. Then we create an experience for our guests on top of that. It's a personal and fun night from start. When members are having a good time, the rest will follow naturally.
Do any other companies in Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 rankings stand out to you?
Adyen, our current payment provider for the desktop and mobile site was a winner of the Deloitte Fast 50 in the past. In 2018 they got listed at the stock exchange. Their company is a great inspiration for us.
Please give some advice to dating startups. What priorities would you advise them to start with?
Build something that has a wow-factor in it.
Listen to your customers.
Focus on growth - growth - growth.
For any new users that are just joining the Inner Circle, what are some tips and tricks for success on the app?
When you want to make a good impression in real life, you put your best foot forward. The same goes online. So first put time into sharing creatively who you are. Share your story through a nice combination of photos then complement this with a profile that shares something unique about you. As icing on the cake, lookup your favourite venues in town and share any trips that you have coming up. Treat people online with the same values that you would in real life. So pay genuine interest in the person that caught your eye, send them an authentic message and commit to a proper conversation. If you are in a rush and can't chat, simply share that you gotta shoot off and that you will get back in touch.
Which countries and markets had Inner Circle grown the most in and which markets do you hope to better serve in the future?
We see the concept of quality dating is working around the world. Opening in the US was a very exciting period and the main US cities now form an important foundation of The Inner Circle. However the US market is enormous, with many buzzing cities. It will be an exciting challenge and opportunity to make a bigger mark on the US.