Featured Startup Pitch: Wyldfire is a dating app where women are the gatekeepers
Wyldfire is the original mobile dating platform with ladies as the gatekeepers in its tribe of singles.
In summer of 2013, my co-founder Andy White and I were both recently out of long-term relationships and were using online dating products for the first time. After a lackluster response from women, we asked our lady friends how to improve our profiles. They opened our eyes to the creepiness and disrespect ladies were facing online from guys. It was then that we saw a perfect opportunity to build a product that met the needs of ladies and, therefore, improved the online dating world for men, too.
Our first beta product went live in June of 2014, paving the way for a new era of online dating where ‘creeps’ are held accountable for their actions. After launching, messages started flooding in with guys who wanted to sign-up, but couldn’t find a lady friend to join the online dating world and provide an invite—that’s when we knew we had to come up with a solution to our current system.
That ‘solution’ was something that had never been done in the world of online dating: An election process. Ladies approve guys via invite or the Wyldfire Election feature, allowing candidates to be voted in by the ladies without prior invitation. With this method, ladies still control the accessibility to the tribe and no good guy is left behind.
To protect the added amount of personal details now on profiles, leading to more informed matches, our system uses proprietary security technology to ensure validity of information and detect fake profiles.
In addition, community monitoring is as robust as ever on Wyldfire. If a member of the tribe gets flagged for misbehavior, his or her account is immediately put under review and locked until our team is able to resolve the issue. We take the comfort and safety of our users very seriously, which is why we respond to flagging in such a severe manner. Guys or ladies, we have a zero tolerance policy for harassment here at Wyldfire.
To aid in the development of the added features, we’ve raised $470,000 in funding, after closing a Seed round last December. Names such as Will Bunker, founder of One and Only Networks—which later became Match.com—appear on the list of investors. Keshif Ventures, Momentum VC, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosatti Venture Fund, Axon Ventures and San Francisco- and Southern California-based Angels have contributed to funding Wyldfire.
We are two founders, both with vast entrepreneurial backgrounds.
I am Wyldfire’s co-founder and CEO, and cut my teeth as an entrepreneur when starting my first company out of high school selling vending machines to my father’s corporate clients. I have been in sales and marketing for 10 years, I have a background in UI/UX design, and a passion for bringing products to market that inspire and delight.
Andy White is my co-founder and director of product development. Another life-long entrepreneur, he started his own engineering firm right out of college and taught himself how to build homes, completing his first ground-up build before he was 25. Andy has designed and developed projects such as restaurants, clothing, and digital properties, and now leads the product development for Wyldfire.
Our model puts the control in the hands of our female user base who grow the network by offering exclusive invitations to single guys, making it more desirable and secure to both genders than an all-access dating service. By providing a safe and creep-free way to meet high-quality guys, Wyldfire was the first to set the standard for next-generation mobile dating apps targeted at discerning ladies.
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HEADQUARTERS: San Diego, California
YEAR FOUNDED: 2014