Dating Games: Just How Dani Fankhauser is Reinventing Online Dating

Dating Games: Just How Dani Fankhauser is Reinventing Online Dating

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

Dani Fankhauser, co-founder of XO, is utilizing fun and games to generate a much better relationship software experience.

An very early adopter of on the web dating, Dani isn’t any complete stranger to your battles and exhaustion that originated in old-fashioned apps. In an occasion where connection is much more valuable—and difficult—than ever, she lay out together with her co-founders to produce a new and new take for online dating sites. The effect is XO—the very first relationship software with icebreaker games. The unique back-and-forth of games causes it to 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 got discovered on the way.

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

A: straight straight straight Back this year, I happened to be the very first of my buddies to try internet dating, and proudly, when I convinced a pal to participate OkCupid, she came across her spouse. I became additionally among the journalists that are first write on Tinder. My co-founders had built a couple of viral games that are mobile whenever I came across them at the beginning of 2019, I was actually fatigued by internet dating, thus I knew it had been time for one thing fresh and brand brand brand new. We designed XO to incorporate games into dating to really make it a personal experience that is perhaps maybe perhaps not draining and demoralizing, but fun.

Q: What issue does your organization re solve, or make an effort to? Exactly what are a few of the most impacts that are meaningful business has already established up to now?

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

I happened to be amazed to listen to very early individual feedback that 100% of people’s interactions on XO have been good and that users had been saying every thing they came across really was thoughtful and respectful. Needless to say this is our intention in providing an interaction that is different other dating apps. We additionally think we’re attracting the sort of those who don’t utilize other apps due to the concentrate on look, therefore users are fulfilling people that are different XO than they might on Tinder.

Q: with what means do you believe differently regarding the industry than the others do? In just what means will you be disrupting your industry?

A: As soon as we first began pitching, we’d hear, “Wow, exactly just how has no body thought of the yet?” Dating and games—it’s some of those ideas that are great think somebody will have done currently. My experience arises from building online communities around content that resonates, and my co-founders have built a lot of games nevertheless they aren’t your standard competitive, graphics-driven games. So we arrived to it with a distinctive take on which a casino game is and just what dating ought to be, and that is why XO has therefore quickly hooked an eager fanbase.

Q: What had been one unanticipated hurdle or challenge you faced when starting out?

A: Choosing a true name for the software is one thing that seems enjoyable it is really very hard. Being a customer application, the capacity to communicate what it’s you are doing in hardly any area matters—it’s how exactly we break through the sound to investors and reporters before we also have to introduce. We desired a thing that screamed “dating and games” in as few letters that you can, and then we nailed it with XO. We really possessed a various title we utilized for about 10 months before stumbling on XO. There are plenty availability that is variables—trademarkthe logic around what you could get is astonishing), social/domain accessibility, term associations individuals make (we went a couple of studies), astonishing alternate definitions you’ll find on UrbanDictionary. One title I liked in the beginning was Wink, many individuals connected it with an older guy winking at a woman that is young and now we decided the creepiness element ended up beingn’t worth it, and even though lots of people liked the title.