So Syncd: Jessica Alderson and Louella Alderson
So Syncd is a dating app and website that matches compatible personality types
Name of founders: Jessica Alderson and Louella Alderson
Date launched: January 2020
Number of employees: Four full-time employees and six part-time employees
Age of founders: 26 and 29
Jessica and Louella Alderson describe how their own dating experiences and those of their friends led to the launch of So Syncd.
Tell us what your business does:
So Syncd is the first dating app and website that connects compatible personality types. We’re revolutionising the way people date by pairing couples who have just the right number of similarities to ‘get’ each other and just the right number of differences to create that spark.
You sign up like any normal dating website but with one extra crucial piece of information: your personality type. Our goal is to make dating more fun, meaningful and successful.
Where did the idea of your business come from?
After breaking up with my boyfriend of three years (who I moved to Australia with) and taking some time off to travel, I returned to London ready to date again, but was left disappointed after meeting people on dating apps with whom there was just no spark.
Lou’s current relationship and best past relationships had started out as friendships, which had made her acutely aware of the importance of personality in successful relationships.
My sister and I were having drinks one night and we agreed that there had to be a better way to date than choosing a partner on the basis of just a few photos. I had studied Myers-Briggs personality types (which is the framework that So Syncd is based on) for many years and was very much aware that certain personality type combinations are more compatible than others.
We both have different strengths and weaknesses and knew we’d make for great business partners.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The online dating market is expanding rapidly and our market research showed that people are becoming increasingly disillusioned by meaningless swiping. In today’s world, people just don’t have the time to waste on bad dates. ‘Dating app fatigue’ is a very real issue and it’s not particularly surprising when you’re trying to find a compatible partner on the basis of only a few photos.
What were you doing before starting up?
I worked in investment banking for five years in London and then in Sydney with some incredibly intelligent people who taught me a lot about finance and business. I then worked as a research analyst at a startup, which enabled me to see first-hand what is involved in running a small business. Lou worked in acquisitions for a property company, which involved managing client relationships and developed her financial skills.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always loved the idea of creating something new and bringing a new concept to life, so starting a business has always been on my radar. I’m self-motivated and strongly value freedom, so the idea of working for myself greatly appeals to me. It wasn’t ever something that I wanted to do for the sake of it, though. It was only when the idea behind So Syncd was born – which I couldn’t be more passionate about – that I knew the time was right.
How did you raise the money?
We haven’t yet raised money. We have used our own savings and borrowed money from friends and family.
Describe your business model and how you make money.
We are currently refining our monetisation strategy, which we’ll be announcing soon. We are keen to keep the basic features of the platform free to use, but we will implement a membership package with additional features.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I’m slightly reluctant to admit as the co-founder of a dating app and website that navigating technology doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve learned some very basic coding, but I do sometimes feel out of my depth when it comes to the minutiae of the technology side of things. I’m very lucky to be working with my sister though, who is a natural in this area.
Another challenge has been appreciating the subtleties of the user experience. I was a little naïve and had no idea about the nuances involved. We now work with a top user experience consultant who gives amazing advice.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Shortly after launching, we did a sponsored guest blog post which really took off and resulted in a huge number of sign-ups. It was posted on a very targeted website but resulted in many more sign-ups than we were expecting.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Finding that balance between optimism and realism is essential to success. You need optimism in order to take the risks that are needed to set up a business, but at the same time you need to be pragmatic in order to make sound decisions.
In addition, only set up a business if you are truly passionate about it. There will be unexpected challenges that crop up and if you aren’t passionate about your vision, it will be much harder to find the energy and determination to overcome these difficulties.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I would like to have changed the way people date and for people to be excited to use So Syncd to meet people rather than being disillusioned by bad date after bad date. In addition, I hope that by then, huge numbers of people will be finding love through our platform every day.
There is also a wider goal behind So Syncd, in that we hope to encourage awareness and acceptance of different personality types, because only good can ever come from that.
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