New app The League provides a more selective dating pool

  • The League

     (The League)

  • Screenshot from The League app.

    Screenshot from The League app.  (The League)

In this age of online dating, finding the right mate or even just a date has gotten more complicated. Enter The League, a new app that lets users search a smaller, more select pool of potential dates.  With its tagline "for people who hate dating apps, by people who hate dating apps," developer Amanda Bradford believes a small dating pool is the key to success, as opposed to larger dating sites.

"Other websites/apps overwhelm users with choice,” Bradford, a 30-year-old who holds an MBA from Stanford University, told “People don’t want thousands of options — they want the best option for them.”

“I look at my time and energy as an investment” said Kelly Lazzara, 25, an active San Francisco resident who prefers using The League over its competitors. “The League essentially reduces the amount of time it takes for me to enter into new relationships and that makes me happy.” 

Using a complex algorithm, the app scans data from social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn for information like education and work experience. Unlike larger, more established dating sites, which Bradford said offer too many options for singles, users are matched with only 5 potential mates a day. If none fit the bill, users will have to wait until tomorrow's selection is sent.

"It's designed for people that are ambitious, have high standards about who they date, appreciate efficiency, prefer quality over quantity and brains over brawn," Bradford said.

But whether or not singles can join right away depends on the current community ratios. While 10,000 people are members, there are more than a 100,000 people waiting to join, which may not even happen. But with a reply rate from potential matches at 70 percent, compared to the 3 percent industry standard, Bradford says membership is worth the wait. 

“The League makes the entire app-dating experience far less overwhelming,” said Brianna Haag, a 30-year-old San Francisco resident who grew frustrated with other dating options. “Usually the matches are people I very well could have met socially or through friends.”

But the app's exclusivity also gives an impression that it’s elitist and caters only to certain people. Bradford dismissed that critique.

“The League is simply replicating how people date in real life,” she added. “The League is and always will be a statistically representative sample of the users who have registered for our website."

Haag also called the app selective and “a curated community of successful people who you’d be excited to meet over drinks.”

Bradford also touted the app's strict security and privacy measures, which are designed to keep memberships secret — no friends, family, or co-workers will know a person is in The League. They will not be set up with their social media contacts and team members police the community to make sure there are no fake profiles.

“We have a team of curators that do a second pass and also review photos for clarity and appropriateness prior to drafting someone into The League,” she said.

The average member of The League is between 27 and 34 years old with the majority working in the tech sector. Even though it is only available in San Francisco, it has seen a 50 percent month over month growth since launching in 2014. Recently, more than $2 million dollars was raised to help expand The League and it should be up and running in the Big Apple by May.

“New York is next, and then the next city after NYC will be chosen based on the waitlist numbers,” Bradford said.

Membership is filling up fast, so if you are single and ready to mingle, you may find your next date on The League. That is, if you make the cut.