Dating Games: Exactly How Dani Fankhauser is Reinventing Online Dating Sites

The Crunchbase “Female Founder Series,” is a number of stories, Q&As, and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers whom overcame the chances, raised money, and tend to be now leading companies that are successful.

Dani Fankhauser, co-founder of XO, is making use of enjoyable and games to generate an improved relationship software experience.

An adopter that is early of dating, Dani isn’t any complete complete stranger towards the battles and weakness that originated in old-fashioned apps. In an occasion where connection is more valuable—and difficult—than ever, she lay out along with her co-founders generate a brand brand new and take that is new internet dating. The effect is XO—the dating that is first with icebreaker games. The back-and-forth that is unique of helps it be easier for users to begin conversations and build better connections.

We asked Dani about her change from journalist to business owner, the challenges that are new has faced from branding to fundraising, and also the classes she’s learned as you go along.

Q: inform us the tale behind your company’s founding: What led you to definitely begin ecommerce?

A: straight straight Back this year, I became the very first of my buddies to try online dating sites, and proudly, she met her husband after I convinced a friend to join OkCupid. I became additionally among the journalists that are first come up with Tinder. My co-founders had built a couple of viral games that are mobile once I came across them at the beginning of 2019, I happened to be individually fatigued by internet dating, therefore I knew it had been time for one thing fresh and brand new. We designed XO to incorporate games into dating making it an experience that is perhaps perhaps perhaps not demoralizing and draining, but enjoyable.

Q: What issue does your business solve, or try to? What exactly are a few of the most significant impacts your business has received up to now?

A: Our mission is assist individuals build and strengthen genuine connections. The word “connection” gets a bad rep these times because social web web sites do literally connect us, but make you feel disconnected. Games have unique back-and-forth, and aren’t too serious, and that’s why they’re useful for team-building, for instance. Games powerfully change the tone of a connection.

I became amazed to listen to very early individual feedback that 100% of people’s interactions on XO was indeed good and that users had been saying every thing they came across was thoughtful and respectful. Needless to say this is our intention in providing a various relationship than other dating apps. I additionally think we’re attracting the kind of individuals who don’t make use of other apps due to the give attention to look, therefore users are fulfilling differing people on XO than they might on Tinder.

Q: with what means you think differently regarding your industry than others do? With what means have you been disrupting your industry?

A: As soon as we first began pitching, we’d hear, “Wow, just just exactly how has no body thought of the yet?” Dating and games—it’s those types of ideas that are great think some body will have done already. My experience arises from building online communities around content that resonates, and my co-founders have actually built a number of games nonetheless they aren’t your standard competitive, graphics-driven games. With a unique take on what a game is and what dating should be, and that’s why XO has so quickly hooked an eager fanbase so we came to it.

Q: What was one unanticipated hurdle or challenge you faced when starting?

A: Choosing title for the application is one thing that appears enjoyable it is actually very hard. As being a consumer application, the capacity to communicate exactly what it really is you will do in almost no room matters—it’s exactly how we break through the noise to investors and reporters before we also have to introduce. We desired something which screamed “dating and games” in as few letters as you are able to, and now we nailed it with XO. We really had a name that is different utilized for about 10 months before stumbling on XO. you will find countless variables—trademark access (the logic around what you could get is astonishing), social/domain accessibility, word associations individuals make (we went several studies), astonishing alternate definitions you’ll find on UrbanDictionary. One title we liked in early stages was Wink, however some individuals connected it with a mature guy winking at a woman that is young and now we decided the creepiness element ended up beingn’t well well well worth it, even though a large amount of people liked the title.