82. Playdate

Playdate is the first UK dating app that offers mums and dads a safe space to match with like-minded individuals.

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Founder: Nevine Coutry
Year founded: 2020
Website: gotoplaydate.com 

Dating is a very different experience for the UK’s three million single parents. Forget Mr. Darcy turning up for a spur-of-the-moment proposal – if Elizabeth Bennett was a single mum, she’d need three weeks' warning to arrange a suitable babysitter.

Thankfully, amongst the 1,400 dating apps available for childless, mindless dating, there comes Playdate. Founded in 2020 by Nevine Coutry, the app aims to be the go-to dating service for single parents looking for love. 

Coutry, a single mother herself, was inspired to start Playdate after she became fed up with meeting dates who viewed her children as ‘baggage’, or ghosted her once she told them about her children. In answer, Coutry decided to build a platform, with a mission to cut out time wasters and provide a safe space for parents to connect.

Playdate caters to divorced, widowed, separated, and solo parents, as well as those who can’t have kids for medical or other reasons. Its market is niche, but certainly not small. In under six months, 50,000 users have fallen head over heels for the app, and it ranked sixth on the Google Play store for dating apps.

Playdate has focused on adding innovative features that keep the specific needs of its user base at heart. These include a smart partnership with childcare provider and partner, Bubble, for discounted babysitting. There is also a sensitive invisibility feature, which allows users to hide their profile from ex-partners.

Community is another strong pull-factor. Being a single parent can be isolating, and the app boasts a number of online forums for users to share advice and support.

Having recently raised £250,000 in angel investment, Playdate aspires to disrupt this competitive sector to become the mother of all apps in the single parent dating space. We just had to have them on the Startups 100; it’s a match made in heaven.

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