OneGoodLove.com is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week. These companies do pay a fee to present, but our coverage of them remains objective.
To a straight man or woman, it might seem like there are plenty of websites catering to gays and lesbians, but Frank Mastronuzzi, founder and president of a startup called OneGoodLove.com, said it’s a real shortage — one that his site solves.
Sure, there are places where you can find hookups. But if you’re looking for a serious relationship, the options are thinner, and are mostly limited to sites like Chemistry.com and CompatiblePartners.com, which are basically reskinned versions of relationship sites designed for heterosexuals (Match and eHarmony, respectively).
As a result, those sites aren’t attuned to the nuances of gay relationships, Mastronuzzi said. For gay men, they probably miss important questions like HIV status and how masculine they want their partner to be.
The OneGoodLove personality test, on the other hand, was developed specifically for gays and lesbians by someone from the gay community who has a PhD. And because it’s designed specifically for this community, Mastronuzzi said OneGoodLove can avoid some of the other missteps he’s seen on reskinned sites — for example, some of those sites illustrate all of their notifications with photos of women, even if they’re sent to gay men.
We’ve also written about the competition between gay social networking sites Fabulis and GayCities, but Mastronuzzi said that since they’re focused on locations and events, he doesn’t see them as competition.
OneGoodLove has been in testing mode and more than 20,000 users have already joined, but the company is making its big launch at DEMO. The site makes money through a combination of a subscription fee and advertising. Users are actually allowed to donate 5 percent of their payments to nonprofits like the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) — Mastronuzzi said that’s one way OneGoodLove can demonstrate that it’s really part of the gay and lesbian community, “not someone sitting in Dallas or Pasadena saying, ‘Let’s make some money.’”
Right now, the site is designed around a recommendation model, where you can only see the profiles of the members that OneGoodLove has recommended for you. Mastronuzzi said he plans to add a mode for browsing other user profiles. The company is also developing a mobile service.
The company has raised $165,000 from the founders, family, friends, and a few angels like interior designer Michael S. Smith. It’s now looking to raise its first round of venture funding.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition: Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.