likebrightOnline dating site LikeBright has been around for a few years now, first participating in the Techstars Seattle program in 2011 and more recently reeling in money from Microsoft Ventures.

Things are still rolling for the Seattle startup, which continues to focus on improving the online dating experience for women and now has a mobile app in the works.

LikeBright CEO Nick Soman.

LikeBright CEO and co-founder Nick Soman told us that his company is now raising a $1 million round, one that would increase total funding to $2.25 million. Rudy Gadre, a well-known Seattle entrepreneur who has been backing several startups as of late, has already joined the round with a $250,000 investment.

Soman wouldn’t divulge too many more details on what’s in store for the 10-person company next year, but he’s clearly bullish on a product he says will help people with a “significantly better way to date.”

“I feel confident we’ll have millions of users around the world in the next year,” Soman said.

LikeBright wants to accelerate the trend of social networks displacing standalone dating sites. Instead of forcing you to create a profile, LikeBright wants to aggregate the information that you already have online at sites like Facebook, and use that to help match those looking for a partner.

likebright1There is certainly competition out there that uses social network data in the same way, with apps like Tinder or LuLu. But Soman says LikeBright’s strategy is different — one that is more widespread and crosses borders.

“We have a unique focus on serving people around the world — not just the Seattle or San Francisco smartphone market,” he said. “Our plan is take this approach and prove we can make it work across platforms and geographies. We’ve been lucky to connect with investors and supporters that understand that mission.”

One of the company’s overarching goals is to help users find a second date, rather than a quick hookup.

“We’re not trying to get you 75 first dates with different people,” he said. “I know that is what dating on competing sites can feel like.”

LikeBright, which has seen rapid growth in the past few months, plans to use the fresh funds to hire developers and operations staff. It also will build out a mobile app in 2014.

“It hadn’t made sense to us for a while,” Soman said of the mobile product. “But we feel like we have our head around it now. It’s going to have a differentiated product experience that we think can delight and connect people around the world.”

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  • Adam Lieb

    Nick is one of my favorite entrepreneurs in Seattle. Excited to see what 2014 holds for LikeBright.

    • TheHeartographer

      Me too! And even though I’m an online dating coach (and therefore have a vested interest in those “other” site), I absolutely love the LikeBright experience and approach. And gosh, the interface. :) I can’t wait to see what the product looks like when it launches!

  • KyleKesterson

    Nick, do you accept Paypal? :)

    Times like these make me wish I were an investor already. I’d put my money on Nick and Richard in a heartbeat. No matter what they do, they are going to succeed, and I wish I could get in this early!

  • Chris Lynch

    Awesome work guys! Exciting to see the product and company grow.

  • Tom Leung

    Awesome news. Love this LB team.

  • FernandoArdenghi

    LikeBright will be a “Stupid Investors’ series” case of study.

    If its motto is “you’ll be connected with other users who are friends with your Facebook friends” like Hinge, that approach has a 50%+ “divorce” rate.

    Please remember: If man A likes playing cards and woman B also likes playing cards, that does not mean man A likes woman B, or woman B can like man A with the same intensity or interest. Compatibility is STRICT PERSONALITY SIMILARITY and not “meet other people with similar interests”

    Tinder is backed by IAC, which owns Match, Chemistry, OkCupid, Meetic, Tinder, Twoo and others.
    Tinder has not any revenue. It is free because Tinder and Twoo, are marketing tools to migrate free users to Match/ Meetic and make them pay there. It seems other social dating applications are decaying like Badoo, Zoosk (planning 2014 IPO), Skout, Twine, AreYouInterested, etc.
    Social dating is vaporware. Online Dating for serious daters does not need to be more social, it needs to be more effective/efficient. It needs to reduce the false positives problem.
    Remember failed ones? like: LikeIt / TheCompleteMe, Comiingle, Perceptual Networks, Zingl, Engage (then rebranded to Ignighter group dating, then rebranded again to StepOut), Thread, Triangulate, Gelato (then rebranded to Twnty), WooMe, 12Like, LittleHint, SmartDate and others.

    Social dating is vaporware. Online Dating for serious daters does not need to be more social, it needs to be more effective/efficient. It needs to reduce the false positives problem.
    C-level executives are cooking barbecues under the water (selling smoke) and not paying attention to latest research from Academics which could be beneficial for the Online Dating Industry.
    Wasting precious time with Matchmakers which should be obsolete.

    • Ben Blakey

      You raise some interesting and valid points. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the “social” side of online dating remains the most daunting challenge of any of these up-and-coming startups. At the same time, I find it hard to believe that this challenge is insurmountable. Eventually the abundant data available online (information that is accessible even today) will be compiled and processed to create connections far more complex than “whether or not two individuals enjoy playing cards.” Whether or not Nick, Richard, and the rest of the Likebright team can find a way to refine user compatibility and remediate the “false positive” problem remains to be seen. But I for one am willing to put my money on them.

      • FernandoArdenghi

        The only way to revolutionize the Online Dating Industry is using the 16PF5 normative personality test, available in different languages to assess personality of members, or a proprietary test with exactly the same traits of the 16PF5 and expressing compatibility with eight decimals (needs a quantized pattern comparison method, part of pattern recognition by cross-correlation, to calculate similarity between prospective mates.)
        High precision in matching algorithms is precisely the key to open the door and leave the infancy of compatibility testing.
        It is all about achieving the eighth decimal!
        With 8 decimals, you have more precision than any person could achieve by searching on one’s own, but the only way to achieve the eighth decimal is using analysis and correlation with quantized patterns.
        Without offering the NORMATIVE16PF5 (or similar test measuring exactly the 16 personality factors) for serious dating, it will be impossible to innovate and revolutionize the Online Dating Industry All other proposals are NOISE and perform as placebo.

        • Nick

          I wish you luck launching or licensing your work Fernando. Thanks for the feedback and happy new year.

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