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Feel like there are no singles out there? Have no fear. Skout, the location-based dating app, now boasts one million registered users in its service. Summer seems to be the time when people are looking for love, as Skout says more than 200,000 users signed up in the month of June, breaking the one-million mark.
User no. 1,000,000 is David Gerber, a 25-year old investment banker from New York, who goes by the handle “StockyBroker.” Gerber said he was lured in by his friends, who were already using Skout, and seems to be finding it worthwhile. “There is no downside to anything that makes meeting women easier during the summer when so many people are leaving the city every single weekend,” Gerber said.
Launched in the beginning of 2009, the San Francisco, Calif.-based company was one of the first dating apps to emphasize location. After signing up for the service, the app shows you other Skout users nearby and lets you browse their profiles, send messages and chat with them. The service, which lets you track other users’ locations, may seem creepy to some, but it has nevertheless found an audience: over one million messages are sent daily, and the average user spends 40 minutes on the app per day. And that audience has just carried Skout over into making profit: 80% of revenue comes from users subscribing to its Skout Pro accounts, and the remaining 20% comes from selling virtual goods such as “wink bombs” (pictured), which allow a user send a flirt to 500 other users. Skout has originally raised $1.5 million in funding from undisclosed investors and is not currently looking for more.
Location-based dating apps have been entering the market ever since the check-in services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Loopt have gained popularity (and these services themselves could conceivably be used for hooking up, even though it is not their focus), making people more and more comfortable with sharing their location. A recent entry into the location-based dating app market is West Fourth from New York City. That is an app aimed at the gay audience (other gay dating apps include Grindr and Skout’s own Boy Ahoy).
Skout (which launched one of its products, the Skout Out kiosk at DEMO in 2009) is celebrating its news with VentureBeat readers by giving away 500 free Skout Pro accounts. All you have to do is email your Skout username to email@example.com, and the first 500 will walk away with the membership, which usually goes for $7 per month. Skout is a native app for the iPhone, with Android versions of Skout and Boy Ahoy coming soon.
[Photo: JP Manninen]
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