CRUNCHBASE - Apr 3 - US dating startups haven't attracted much funding. There were ~40 companies in the "dating" category on Crunchbase that were founded in the past three years, each with their own spin on the gaps they believe Tinder and Bumble haven't been able to fill. Tina Wilson founded Wingman, a dating app which involves friends in the dating process. Match Group partnered with content platform Betches to launch a similar app called Ship. Another new dating startup is Plum. The app is currently in its beta and aims to incentivize men to behave appropriately by implementing a ratings system based on communication, follow-through, and profile authenticity. "Anyone can have a good idea, but if the audience isn't there to back it up, that presents quite an issue," says Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Spark Networks. "It's very difficult for small companies to reach critical mass. That's a result of the sheer amount of competition and the massive amount of money that is required to spend on marketing," he said. But what does work? The backing of large players like The Match Group and Badoo. "Hinge is an excellent example of a company that had an amazing product, great concept, and it was going nowhere, and Match bought it for almost nothing," Folgueira explained, adding that now, with Match's backing, Hinge will be huge.