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Dating Games: Exactly Just Exactly How Dani Fankhauser is Reinventing Internet Dating

The Crunchbase “Female Founder Series,” is a few stories, Q&As, and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers whom overcame chances, raised financing, and tend to be now leading effective organizations.

Dani Fankhauser, co-founder of XO, is making use of enjoyable and games to produce an improved relationship app experience.

An adopter that is early of dating, Dani isn’t any complete stranger to your battles and tiredness that originated in old-fashioned apps. In an occasion where connection is more valuable—and difficult—than ever, she put down along with her co-founders to generate a new and take that is new internet dating. The end result is XO—the very first dating software with icebreaker games. The back-and-forth that is unique of 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 brand new challenges she has faced from branding to fundraising, therefore the classes she’s discovered on the way.

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

A: straight straight straight Back this season, I became the initial of my buddies to try internet dating, and proudly, she met her husband after I convinced a friend to join OkCupid. I happened to be additionally among the very first reporters to come up with Tinder. My co-founders had built a couple of viral games that are mobile once I came across them during the early 2019, I became really fatigued by internet dating, therefore I knew it absolutely was time for something fresh and brand brand new. We designed XO to incorporate games into dating making it an event that’s maybe maybe not draining and demoralizing, but enjoyable.

Q: What issue does your business re solve, or make an effort to? exactly what are several of the most significant effects your business has received up to now?

A: Our mission would be to help people build and strengthen connections that are genuine. The word “connection” gets a rep that is bad times because social web web internet sites do literally link 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 utilized for team-building, as an example. Games powerfully change the tone of an conversation.

I became astonished to know very early individual feedback that 100% of people’s interactions on XO was indeed 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 offering an interaction that is different other dating apps. In addition think we’re attracting the sort of individuals who don’t make use of other apps due to the concentrate on look, therefore users are fulfilling people that are different XO than they might on Tinder.

Q: In just what means do you consider differently regarding your industry than the others do? In just what methods have you been disrupting your industry?

A: As soon as we first began pitching, we’d hear, “Wow, exactly how has no body thought of the yet?” Dating and games—it’s those types of ideas that are great think someone could have done currently. My experience arises from building online communities around content that resonates, and my co-founders have actually built a number of games nonetheless they aren’t your standard competitive, graphics-driven games. With a unique take on what a game is and what dating should be, and that’s why XO has so quickly hooked an eager fanbase so we came to it.

Q: What ended up being one unforeseen hurdle or challenge you encountered when starting out?

A: Choosing name for the software is one thing that appears enjoyable it is really very difficult. As being a customer software, the capability to communicate exactly what it really is you are doing in hardly any room 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 as you can, and then we nailed it with XO. We really had a various title we employed for about 10 months before stumbling on XO. There are plenty variables—trademark supply (the logic around what you could get is astonishing), social/domain accessibility, term associations individuals make (we ran a couple of studies), astonishing alternate definitions you’ll find on UrbanDictionary. One name we liked in early stages was Wink, however some individuals connected it with an adult man winking at a new girl, and now we decided the creepiness factor ended up beingn’t well well worth it, and even though many people liked the title.

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