Lulu, the app that lets women secretly rate men, just got bought by the biggest dating company in the world

Alexandra Chong LuluLuluLulu co-founder and CEO Alexandra Chong

Lulu, the girls-only app that lets women rate men anonymously, has been acquired by global dating app giant Badoo.

Cofounded by Alexandra Chong in 2011, New York-based Lulu lets women discuss a guy’s sense of humour, appearance, ambition, and sexual prowess with mini quizzes and hashtag descriptions, such as #CanTalkToMyDad and #OneWomanMan.

Then the man receives a score between 0 and 10. More than half of Lulu’s users actually take these quizzes and create content on the app. Users can also send each other messages on the app.

Cofounder Alexandra Chong says one in four college women in the US uses the app, which first launched in early 2013.

We spoke to Chong last week when the ink was “literally drying on the deal,” to use her words. She couldn’t disclose many terms of the deal, but she was able to tell us what the future of Lulu holds.

Right now, Lulu is a discovery and messaging app, but once it integrates with Badoo, it will become a full-on dating service, and Lulu’s 6 million members will be able to interact and connect with Badoo’s 300 million users.

If you’re not familiar with Badoo, you’re not alone. “Not a lot of people know who they are, but they are massive,” Chong told us. Badoo itself is a dating service, and the company also owns dating apps Hot or Not and Blendr, and now Lulu.

London-based Badoo, which was founded in 2006, has 300 million users in 190 countries around the world, and 60 million monthly active users. An average active user spends 1.8 hours on Badoo per day, the company says.

Chong met Badoo CEO Andrey Andreev in London in 2011, before Lulu even launched. “When I met Andrey in 2011, they had just hit the 100 million user mark,” Chong told us. “In the last 5 years they have moved and skyrocketed to 300 million.”

Chong and Andreev met again in November, and talked about the next steps for Lulu. “One of the challenges we were starting to face was our users were asking for a dating experience,” Chong says. “They were looking to connect with other users. We wanted to do that but it was a big task, going down that route.”

As part of the deal, Lulu will join Badoo’s family of dating services, and Chong will become Badoo’s president.

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