Founder and CEO Amanda Bradford and her team have been in the British capital on “The League bus” with the aim of spreading the word on the new app that suits “those seeking drive, not double Ds.”
It initially opened to a tight-knit group of 2,000 smart, ambitious, highly sought after singletons, who have been hand-picked from a 10,000-strong waiting list. Bradford hopes to quickly grow the network to 5,000 over the next few months.
The League has already hosted a week of invite-only “pre-game” parties to unearth suitable new London members. The events took place at hot London venues, such as Shoreditch House, Ham Yard Hotel, and The Ivy Chelsea Garden, and Business Insider was given an exclusive look inside the festivities.
Scroll on to see some of the first members of The League, the Tinder for elites.
Amanda Bradford, founder and CEO of The League, had just got out of a five-year relationship and was finishing up at graduate school when she was inspired to build her own dating app. She wanted to meet someone who wouldn't be intimidated by her own drive and ambition.
Bradford raised $US2.1 million to match up highly motivated and interesting single professionals. She named the app The League and it launched in San Francisco in 2015.
It is now also available in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Boston. London is The League's first international launch.
'I think London's a couple of years behind the states about dating apps from a mindset perspective,' says Bradford. 'The League will help to get rid of that stigma, because it's hard to get into and something that very desireable people join.'
'That stigma no longer exists in the US. Now even the most desireable or popular person in a bar is on an app in the states.'
The app has a waiting list of about 10,000 people in the UK, Bradford told Business Insider. Last night the company finalised a selection of an initial network of 2,000 so-called 'founding members.'
'If you're really picky you're gonna be on the waitlist a lot longer than someone who's more open-minded' says Bradford.
'The League is less about elite or not elite, and more for people looking for partners who value traits such as ambition and intelligence above everything else,' Bradford explains.
'It's less about how beautiful you are or how much money you have, and more about how do we match the successful people who are having a hard time finding each other.'
Although profession, job title and education are important factors on whether you'll be invited to join The League, Bradford says 'it's more about what kind of relationship you're looking for.'
Most of The League's existing members are in either finance, consulting or tech, but it has also received a high number of applicants from the fashion industry in London.
Even though you might get fewer matches on The League compared to other apps, like Tinder or Bumble, its conversion rate is much higher in terms of sending people out on dates.
The League measures its success rate in a couple of different ways -- one being the number of requests from matched users who later down the line ask to see their chat history.
'When they're in a really successful relationship, they want to see what they first said to each other. Those are the ones we know are either engaged or married because that's what they're using for their wedding gift, it's like the new first date memorabilia.'
'In New York we have had over 100 of those' Bradford adds.
'The League bus' will be out and about in London this week promoting the app 'for those seeking drive, not double Ds.'
The bus features an image of Amal Clooney, the successful human rights lawyer married to George Clooney, juxtaposed next to Amy Childs, a reality TV star with breast implants. Amal Clooney would be The League's ideal ambassador, according to Bradford.
Bradford designed the app based on what she didn't like about other dating apps. One key feature means users don't show up to their co-workers or first-degree connections on LinkedIn and Facebook.
'Privacy filters are important because our target user is a successful ambitious woman and she is often working with men, so it's a little awkward if your professional life mixed with your personal life.'
Bradford adds that The League is 'pretty much the only app out there using the LinkedIn social network,' which she says brings a sense of authenticity and safety to its users and has led to virtually no issues with incidences of offensive behaviour.
There are other advantages too. 'With The League you don't have to ask awkward questions like do they have a job, how tall are they?' Bradford says.
The app allows users to set preferences when searching for a date. The screenshot below shows the different filters featured, including age, location, height, ethnicity, education, and religion.
The app is free to download, but users can opt to pay for additional features. US users have the option of purchasing a yearly subscription for about $A240, which gives access to more potential dates and invites to exclusive events.
Bradford tried to create a 'haven for dating' with The League.
'Online dating can get depressing and people get really jaded, you get people talking about deleting their dating apps all the time,' she explains.
'(With The League) you're not getting harassy messages or having to squint to see someone's face in a photo. People want it to be easier and more fun. We really want to keep it pristine.'
The League curates exclusive parties for members to attend, where you will typically find a ratio of 70% singletons and 30% 'fun outgoing couples who have lots of friends so that it feels casual and organic.'
On Wednesday night, The League hosted an exclusive dinner for tech founders at London's The Ivy Chelsea Garden.
Bradford introduces games at some events to help break the ice. At one, guests were handed out coloured bands and if you found someone with the same colour you would get a free drink, but you had to find a partner first.
Another game involves daters revealing things about themselves -- two of them being the truth, and the third, a lie.
'The Brits need the games the most,' Bradford laughs. 'We want to bring the American spirit of dating to here... Bring them out of shell and make them use The League the way we want them to use it - for better or worse.'
Bradford says: 'We are egalitarian, equal partner, one of our sayings is 'dual income is in' that's kind of the partnerships that we are trying to create.'
The League hopes its London launch will serve as a gateway for expansion into Europe and beyond. It will also be rolling out in 10 more American cities this summer.
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