GQ MAGAZINE - Nov 14 - For people too busy to swipe themselves, there's a new generation of cyber-cupids to help them hook up, break up and everything in between - from polishing profiles, to messaging potential dates. With a budget of £15K, Scott Valdez used Craigslist to hire two freelance writers and a PR manager, then founded Virtual Dating Assistants (styled Vida) in 2009. Since then, the business has grown exponentially. Vida has hundreds of clients. In the last year alone, it has seen a 50% increase in sign-ups and almost a third of its customers are women. The team has grown from a staff of three to 80, with matchmakers, profile writers, photo analysts and app swipers joining the ghostwriters. With pay-as-you-go monthly packages ranging from £400 (20 hours of dating assistance and an expected two-to-four dates per month) to £2k (100 hours, and eight to 20 dates per month), Vida already has a seven-figure revenue stream, and it's just getting started. Vida says that 99.6% of clients get dates, 63% of which turn into serious relationships, usually after 12 dates within three and a half months. After Vida obtains a phone number from a potential date, the client is sent an email with the full transcript of the conversation to read over and memorise (they are then expected to takeover via SMS).