"Finally, your character counts," claims Germany's newest dating app, unlikeany. Developed by the young start-up New Social UG around WHU alumnus Felix Baur and his co-founders Maurice Straube and Philipp Reiter, the app aims to revolutionize the world of online dating.
"More and more people are using online dating platforms to find a partner. More than 80% of them are tired of bad experiences such as ghosting, poor conversations, and—especially women—sometimes even risk becoming victims of sexual harassment. Additionally, the time investment on conventional online dating platforms is huge because the platforms match their users with many people they actually have nothing in common with. None of those platforms fully use the power of machine learning, as they primarily focus on information about user preferences related to looks, but not personality traits," Felix explains.
Placing the focus on your personality.
This is where unlikeany comes in. Instead of shallow matches, the app is designed to create meaningful connections. To achieve this goal, unlikeany works with user-generated content, including photos and sound recordings, but also short comments and descriptions written by friends. Additionally, the users view non-user generated content on a diverse range of topics in their feed: "Let's take the topic sustainability, for example, users might see a short video or a statement in the feed, such as "whenever I can, I opt for my bike instead of my car." Such elements can be rated. Based on those ratings, we gain detailed information about one's interests, values, character traits, humor, and life goals—all the things that matter to make a good match."
Founded in Münster in 2021, the start-up completed an angel round last fall, attracting several unicorn founders and the former CEO of one of the largest dating platforms in Europe. Among their sponsors are five investors from the WHU network. "This demonstrates how beneficial the WHU Master programs are for young founders: the network is incredibly strong," says Felix.
Having the courage to realize your own ideas.
In 2019, Felix completed the Master in Management program at WHU. Early on, it became clear to him that he would become an entrepreneur. "During and directly after my studies, I worked for various venture capital companies from the WHU network. I gained valuable experience, but I quickly realized that I wanted to switch the side of the table and start my own venture."
Working on his own start-up projects as part of the entrepreneurship courses during his studies was particularly valuable to Felix. "Having had the opportunity to face and solve many issues you'll encounter as a founder in real-life, I felt well prepared to start my own venture right after graduation. Additionally, the data analytics and machine learning coursework provided me with essential knowledge of programming and the development of algorithms. Last but not least, at WHU, I learned to approach problems in a distinctly analytical and structured way. I use these skills every day, as a big part of my current job is facing one challenge after another and constantly finding new ways to solve them."
To Felix and his co-founders, making a positive contribution to society with their start-up is essential. "The idea behind unlikeany was inspired by a long-term study by Harvard professor Robert Waldinger, which concludes that close and meaningful social relationships are the key to health and happiness. Suppose we can help people find the very person who makes them happy with our app and the technical capabilities behind it. That's a wonderful incentive for us." He encourages WHU students and graduates to have the courage to stand out from the crowd and realize their own ideas to make a difference. "There are so many pressing issues and challenges out there just waiting to be tackled by bold founders!"